Lensheads is a shining light for budding film makers

PIC ALAN WATSON - BELLSHILL ACADEMY - FIRST LIGHT VISIT FROM TOM CLARKE (SEATED) WITH ACADEMY PUPILS L-R NICOLA MARSHALL, RHONDA STEWART, SARAH COWIE, GEMMA MCLEAN, WILLIE DAVIDSON
PIC ALAN WATSON - BELLSHILL ACADEMY - FIRST LIGHT VISIT FROM TOM CLARKE (SEATED) WITH ACADEMY PUPILS L-R NICOLA MARSHALL, RHONDA STEWART, SARAH COWIE, GEMMA MCLEAN, WILLIE DAVIDSON

NORTH Lanarkshire film school Lensheads’ has been nominated for a second First Light Award.

First Light is supported by the National Lottery, through the UK Film Council, to support budding film industry professionals and at last year’s event Lensheads took the best screenplay prize for BackFire, earning praise from Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellan.

This year they have been nominated in the best drama category and will be hoping their dark fantasy Strings Attached impresses judges Daniel Craig (James Bond), Nathan Stewart Jarrett (MisFits) and Claudia Winkleman (Film 2011) against three other films from Somerset, Scotland and Belfast.

The group of pupils involved in the project were led by tutor John Rae, a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

He said: “I wasn’t involved last year when BackFire won the award so I’m delighted that the hard work of the youngsters has once again been recognised.

“The whole experience was absolutely brilliant, just a delight to be involved in, everyone was so determined to get things right and having worked on feature films I can tell you they were better than some professionals.”

Although based Bellshill, Lensheads takes in pupils from across North Lanarkshire since being set up eight years ago after securing funding from the UK Film Council.

The council was set up by Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP Tom Clarke when he was Minister for Film and Tourism, an award winning film maker in his own right, who visited Bellshill Academy to find out about the work of Lensheads.

He spoke to pupils and staff before sitting down to watch BackFire and Strings Attached.

Mr Clarke said: “The films I saw were absolutely first class and it is clear Lensheads is doing very well by North Lanarkshire.”

Full story in February 10 edition of Times & Speaker