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Young Lancaster director takes short film to US festival

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A short film written, produced and directed by a young Lancaster film-maker has made it across the pond to the finals of an international film festival.

Finley Clifton, 18, made Silver Planes last year, and it has now been shortlisted in the Best Student Film category of the Reading International Film Festival in Philadelphia.

The former Bowerham Primary School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil said he made the film to see if he could create something without any words that could trigger an emotional response. The film tells the story of a father who is struggling to make ends meet, who has to put his creative skills into action to build a Christmas present.

Finley said: “We made Silver Planes in 2017, stretched over seven months because we wanted to use the seasons to represent emotions.

“If I can make an audience smile or cry, I can use the same technique in future films. We’re now working on a homeless film project in Lancaster, so we hope to use this technique to have a positive impact.”

The film is shot at The Dukes Theatre, Williamson Park, the RLI medical training unit, and in The Radish cafe in New Street.

Finley Clifton, Vincent Murphy, Tristan Grant, and Steve McGarry, cast from Silver Planes

Finley Clifton, Vincent Murphy, Tristan Grant, and Steve McGarry, cast from Silver Planes

It stars Steve McGarry, Tristan Grant, and Vincent Murphy.

Finley met Steve and Tristan on the set of the play Blackout at The Dukes, where Finley and Tristan played the same part. The pair also happened to be born on the same day at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Finley said: “It feels like I grew up directing, I remember picking up a camera aged six and filming my brother. I went down the acting route, with The Dukes, and wanted to get into screen acting. But I didn’t feel like there was enough local film-making, so I started creating and directing my own.”

Steve McGarry, who will be attending the Reading Film Festival where Silver Planes will be shown on November 1, said: “I’m 65 and to work with Finley, his ideas, his artistry, is just absolutely brilliant.”

The film is available on Youtube, and will be shown at the Reading Film Festival on November 1.