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Game of Thrones and Sherlock stars create award-winning sci-fi with Dagenham pupils

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 June 2016

Game of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick and Sherlock's Rupert Graves film a scene at Dagenham Civic Centre Picture: Film 1st

Game of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick and Sherlock's Rupert Graves film a scene at Dagenham Civic Centre Picture: Film 1st

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A language teacher turned director is set to use his award-winning science fiction film to show the world his pupils’ talents during its European premiere.

Rupert Graves of Sherlock fame films for Native at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham Picture: Film 1stRupert Graves of Sherlock fame films for Native at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham Picture: Film 1st

Psychological space adventure Native won Robert Clack School of Science teacher Dan Fitzsimmons Best New Filmmaker award at this year’s Boston Science Fiction Film Festival.

After enlisting media pupils to work alongside Game of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick on film sets in Dagenham Civic Centre and Ripple Road’s Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dan says he’s bringing Native home at its European premiere at East End Film Festival.

“To have some of these brilliant young people working on set was a real pleasure,” he said. “The way they adapted to working in such a high-pressured environment with a professional and mature approach was fantastic – they were a credit to Dagenham.”

The film centres on Cane, played by Sherlock’s Rupert Graves, a space-traversing scientist obsessively seeking the source of a musical transmission.

Game of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick films a scene for Native at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham Picture: Film 1stGame of Thrones star Ellie Kendrick films a scene for Native at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham Picture: Film 1st

Ellie Kendrick plays Cane’s co-scientist, Eva, as the telepathic pair leave home to colonise the source of the seductive message.

Joining them on set was Callum Shepherd, a Robert Clack pupil who was location manager during the 2014 shoot and now works at the British Film Institute.

“I was delighted,” he said. “It seemed a distant dream as a 13-year-old who wrote scripts to be on a set with a host of top talent. It was kind of surreal that we built a set in an abandoned leisure centre where I used to swim as a kid.”

Headteacher Sir Paul Grant believes that the film shows Dagenham at its best.

“People put a stereotype on Dagenham but this shows there’s as much quality talent among our young people as anywhere,” he said. “I was really bowled over by the way our children contributed – we’ve got a huge pool of talent.”

The premiere will be held at Genesis Cinema in Bethnal Green at 9pm on July 1. Adult tickets cost £9.50 and student tickets £7. Book at genesiscinema.co.uk


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