Award victory for the academy graduate

Lights, Camera, Action !-Young Morpeth filmaker Alex Ayre.
Lights, Camera, Action !-Young Morpeth filmaker Alex Ayre.

A YOUNG Morpeth filmmaker is enjoying his own spell in the spotlight after winning a festival award.

Alex Ayre has won the Chris Anderson Award for Best Young Filmmaker at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival.

The 19-year-old impressed the judges with his short film Kitman, about a long-serving volunteer at Blyth Spartans Football Club.

The seven-minute documentary tells the story of Tony Kennedy, who looked after the team’s kit and dressing room until he retired in 2012 after two decades and more than 1,000 games as a volunteer.

Football fan Alex first met Mr Kennedy on the touchline at a match.

Mr Kennedy said: “It was a big surprise when Alex asked me to be in the film, because I didn’t think I was famous, but I realise I must be. I was so proud of the finished film – I got all the family over to watch it and they were over the moon.”

The festival award is named in honour of its founder Chris Anderson and includes a prize of £200 donated by his widow Chrissie and son Paul WS Anderson, who directed the feature films Resident Evil and The Three Musketeers (2011).

The award celebrates talented young filmmakers aged 19 and under from the North East, Scottish Borders and Southern Scotland.

Alex said: “Tony is such an interesting character with some fascinating and very funny stories about his history at the club, and he was so warm and welcoming when I first approached him about the documentary, which made shooting the film a really fantastic experience.

“I’m chuffed that the finished film was selected by the Berwick Film Festival and it’s a huge honour to have won the award.”

Alex is a graduate of Tyneside Cinema’s Northern Stars Film Academy, which has helped more than 100 young filmmakers over its six-year history.

Since graduating, Alex has been employed by the cinema full-time at Northern Stars Production, which provides businesses with professional films. Kitman was one of several films supported by Tyneside Cinema that were nominated for the award. It can be seen online at https://vimeo.com/75814918

For further information about Northern Stars, visit www.madebynorthernstars.com