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Focus on past master; School film-makers win award from festival.

Byline: GARETH HUGHES

BUDDING film-makers from Christchurch School, in Rhyl, have already notched up their first cinematic success.

At the Chicago International Children's Film Festival, the Denbighshire school was awarded a certificate by the judges ``in recognition of outstanding achievement in children's media''.

They received the accolade for ``Lighting Up The Past'', a short,black- and white movie based on the life and times of pioneering Rhyl film-maker Arthur Cheetham.

The 16 Year five pupils were invited to work alongside Cardiff-based film company Cinetig which supervised the youngsters over a two-week period in February.

The school was chosen because it is located near the centre of the town where Arthur Cheetham worked.

As well as filming on location they made models and backdrops for the film. And some youngsters donned period costume to star in the movie.

Arthur Cheetham and his family established cinemas in Colwyn Bay, Aberystwyth and Manchester. He produced about 30 films between 1897 and 1903.

Headteacher Chris Thompson said the news of the award came totally out of the blue.

``This is thrilling news for the school and children to get international recognition. It was the first time for the school to venture into film-making and gave pupils an excellent opportunity to develop their creative skills and talents.

``We were sent a copy of the edited film and are delighted with the finished product,''he said.

The parents and school governors have also been given private viewings of the film.

Coun Rhiannon Hughes, Denbighshire County Council's cabinet lead member for lifelong learning,congratulated the youngsters.

``They have shown great enthusiasm towards this project,and to receive an award from the media industry is a true reflection of their outstanding commitment and knowledge of how to produce eye-catching short films,'' sheadded.

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The Year 5 pupils from Christchurch School, Rhyl, who won a certificate at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival for their work on pioneering film-maker Arthur Cheetham Picture: JEFF PITT
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 20, 2003
Words:326
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