Pupils take their turn on the red carpet

Kirsty Hensleigh
Kirsty Hensleigh
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Pupils have had their moment in the spotlight at the first school Oscars night.

The red carpet was rolled out for the film studies students at Duchess’s Community High School as they collected their awards at the event at Alnwick Playhouse.

Dressed to the nines for Oscars night.

Dressed to the nines for Oscars night.

Pupils’ efforts in making and starring in short films was rewarded and a film director was in the audience to see their work.

School headteacher, Maurice Hall, said: “I think it’s an amazing first for the school, showing such talent and wonderful acting.”

Kirsty Hensleigh was one of the winners on the night. She took the Oscar statue for best actor in the GCSE category, for her intense role in Daniel Thomassen’s short film sequence, Dr Renfield’s House.

She said: “It was a little bit weird, seeing my face on the big screen, but it’s good to know how everybody’s hard work has paid off.

“It was an overwhelming experience, but I thoroughly enjoyed the night.”

There are plans to make the student Oscars a yearly event, as a showcase and platform for new work by young film-makers and documentary producers.

Andy Simpson, film director of Young Hearts, Run Free, said: “These kids are pushing beyond the normal expectations.

“It was really amazing to see them express themselves through film and documentary form – very revealing.”

The school is using Alnwick Playhouse as a venue for the new launch of FilmClub, a national organisation which aims to promote all types of films to young people, by allowing them to attend free screenings.

Head of film and media studies at the school, Lotty Thompson, organised the event and FilmClub.

She said: “Our links with the Playhouse are becoming stronger, and it’s such a great venue for kids who are interested in film. “

Jo Potts, theatre manager at the Playhouse, said: “The only reason why I am working in the arts today is because I was inspired by my drama teachers.

“I recognise those teachers who are passionate about their subject and their students and I will support them, which is why I said ‘yes’ to hosting the Oscar ceremony.

“I can see a lot of young people from DCHS’s media studies group going on to make film because of the energy and enthusiasm of Lotty and the school.

“The Playhouse will continue to develop the relationship with the media studies students.”