Norfolk-based filmmakers have launched a crowdfunding campaign to turn an award-winning script into a short film, with the filming taking place in and around Reepham.
The team aims to raise £20,000 on the Crowdfunder platform to film Losing Us, a refugee story about family love and survival.
Following shooting the pilot scene in Reepham’s Bircham Centre in June, production company Teele Photography plans to film the rest in September with financial support from the local, national and global community.
Further filming is again planned for the Bircham Centre, as well as Johnsons of Reepham newsagents and post office, Reepham College and Eves Hill Farm in Booton.
Film director Teele Dunkley, who was born in Pärnu, Estonia, came up the idea of an Albanian refugee family told from the children’s point of view during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
In developing the story, Ms Dunkley, who now lives in Reepham, talked to social services and legal professionals.
“But the story really came to life when I connected with author Stephan Drury, who wrote the script with guidance from me and producer Lesley van Dijk.
“For many, the lockdown was hard and an anxious period, but it made me even more convinced to follow my passion for filmmaking.”
In researching the script, Mr Drury, a lecturer at the Open University, came across government statistics showing that Albanians are the second largest nationality claiming asylum in the UK.
He said: “It quickly became apparent that this was an important story to tell.
“Refugee stories are in the news, but no one really knows how the children feel or what happens to them.
“I’m delighted that the script has won awards, but most of all I want to see this film made.”
The producers are committed to employing people in the local area, with seven out of cast of 18 from Norfolk.
Other local team members include hair and makeup artist Mollie Nash, assistant makeup artist Freya Prigmore, costume designer Katrine Mogensen, chaperone Karen Howard, and production assistants Graham Dunkley, Ben Ashford and Jasmine Warne.
Ms van Dijk, a Reepham-based photographer and communications professional originally from the Netherlands, commented: “We believe we have a beautiful film in our hands.
“So far, we’ve had an amazing response to our auditions and high praise from the cast for the story.
“This makes everyone involved even more determined to make Losing Us.
“Having worked with co-producer and casting director Anton Kamillus, and Teele for ten months on the project, we’re in full production mode.
“With talented cinematographer Paul Cook from Bury St Edmunds and first assistant camera Nick Galbusera from London, we know the visual side of the film will be in safe hands.
“But we can’t do it without support from others.”
To see the pilot scene and support the film, click HERE