Portsmouth youngsters sparkle at their very own red carpet movie premiere

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YOUNG people have taken their first steps into a future in showbusiness – after starring in their very own film productions.

Almost 100 children from schools across the Portsmouth area took to the red carpet in Port Solent last night for what could be the first of many movie premieres for them.

Children arriving on the red carpet at Port Solent. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Children arriving on the red carpet at Port Solent. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The youngsters have been taking part in a project organised by the UK Film Academy, which gives them the chance to work both in front of and behind the camera on short film productions.

Sasha Scott, 11 from Havant, is one of those who got the chance to star in the short films, which were shown at the Odeon cinema last night.

She said: ‘We were tasked with doing a music video that looked at anti-bullying and mental health.

‘It was good to do a tough topic like that.

Sasha Scott 11 and Sophia Baxter 11 Picture: Habibur Rahman

Sasha Scott 11 and Sophia Baxter 11 Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I think it went really well – it’s hard to do something like this in front of a camera, so I think it’s really helped me with my confidence.’

Sophia Baxter, 11 from Portsmouth, added: ‘Making a film is a really fun process – I really enjoyed doing a piece and then watching it back on the camera.

‘I was so excited to see myself on a cinema screen; to see yourself doing something like that is just such a great feeling.’

As the youngsters rolled up to the red carpet in their limousines, parents lined the barriers to cheer on their children  and join in with the onslaught of photography.

Children on the red carpet at Port Solent.  Picture: Habibur Rahman

Children on the red carpet at Port Solent. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Vickie Gilfillan, 34, was waiting at the barriers for her daughter Olivia, aged 11.

After papping her daughter on the red carpet, Vickie said: ‘I am such a proud mum this evening.

‘The children have only been working on this since Christmas, but Olivia has loved every moment of it.

‘She has done school plays before but never anything like this – and it has made a big difference to her confidence. She’s really come out of her shell.

‘My only worry about the evening is that I didn’t bring any tissues with me.’

Louisa Bromley, director of UK Film Academy, says that the children can all be very proud of what they have achieved.

She said: ‘To hold an evening like this for the children is really exciting.

‘I am so proud of every single child involved; they have all worked so hard to make this happen and have done an incredible job.

‘The younger children are the ones who get stuck into the acting – with the older ones putting together a piece about a radio station set up to help deal with mental health issues.

‘It’s not just about acting, or even about making films with a message; it’s about helping the children to learn more about themselves and being confident in their own ability.’

The UK Film Academy’s next project will be a 24-hour film festival, open to people between the ages of five and 25.

To find out more and get involved, people can go to ukfilmacademy.com.