Community film takes flight

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 April 2019

The cast with a cheuqe from the the David Solomans Charitable Trust. Picture: Sam Cooper

The cast with a cheuqe from the the David Solomans Charitable Trust. Picture: Sam Cooper

Archant

A film group made up of people with learning difficulties has been given more than £10,000 in donations to help fund their next movie.

The tree that fell on the activity hall. Picture: OtterhayesThe tree that fell on the activity hall. Picture: Otterhayes

The film, called Silverhawk, is the work of drama therapist Chris Hill and his Otterhayes Trust drama group. The cast is made up of residents from the trust which houses more than 20 people with learning difficulties.

So far, the group has overcome financial problems and even a tree falling onto its rehearsal space during production, but managed to release a trailer in 2018. After a year of fundraising, members secured £443 from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards For All and £5,000 from the Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation, which makes grants to organisations that aim to benefit people with a learning disability.

On April 5 this year, the group received a further £6,960 from the National Lottery. Silverhawk is the second film the group has worked on, having produced a soap opera called 'The Otter Inn' in 2014 on a £200 budget.

The group used the donated money to make sets, costumes, props and to pay for initial videography. It has released the trailer which can be seen at www.vimeo.com/279249623.

The tree that fell through the Otterhayes' roof. Picture: OtterhayesThe tree that fell through the Otterhayes' roof. Picture: Otterhayes

The plot is a group of space travellers are looking for a new home in the galaxy but run into trouble when their ship breaks.

The cast is Lucy Barass, Tim Cooke, Michael Hathaway, Colin Hickson, Stephanie Lewis and Holly Windibank.

The sci-fi idea came from Mr Hathaway who plays the commander of the ship and is a big fan of Star Trek.

Mr Hill said: “Michael likes cowboy films and science fiction films. That started us off back in 2015 and we started thinking about different stories. Then we thought we'd get some money to make a better job of the film.”

When the tree fell on the group's activity hut in June 2018, members were forced to practice in a temporary marquee.

They are now back up and running thanks to a second donation of £3,950 from the Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation, plus awards in March from the David Solomans Charitable Trust (£500) and the David Gibbons Foundation (£1500).

Mr Hill said the group is now ready to take the film to the next step with the extra money behind them. To read more about the film, visit www.thesilverhawkfilmproject.org

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