Gorleston students shoot films to promote Broads

A group of Norfolk students took a sedate trip back in time yesterday...on a film-making mission to sell the Broads to young people.

The sight of the teenagers, clad in Victorian costume, embarking from Stalham staithe on board the century-old steam boat Falcon, certainly gave Easter holidaymakers on their modern cruisers something to talk about.

However, former Look East and Nationwide presenter Ian Masters explained that the audience they were really trying to captivate was local young people.

The Victorian love story shot yesterday on a quiet dyke neat Neatishead is one of a series of films about the Broads - ranging from the hunt for the elusive swallowtail butterfly to a study of a Somerleyton marshman - which are being realised with the help of �12,000 of funding from the Broads Society and Broads Authority's sustainable development fund.

Mr Masters, 71, a trustee of the Broads Society, said: 'Our aim is to bring awareness of the Broads to young people in the area. It is amazing how many young people don't know anything about the fabulous facility on their doorstep.

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'When the films have all been made, later in the summer, we plan to hold a mini film festival and are in discussions with Cinema City in Norwich about a date to show them in September.'

It is hoped that the films, which also include a story about Norfolk's wind pumps and Hugh Tusting's final journey as skipper of the wherry Albion before retirement, will become an important promotional tool and they are to be made permanently available via the Broads Society's website.

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The project was inspired during a meeting between Mr Masters, who went on to become a senior BBC executive, and Ashir Abbas, head of media studies at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston.

The young film makers, mainly from Lynn Grove High, have worked on all the storylines themselves and Mr Masters said the skill and enthusiasm they had shown was 'fantastic'.

Yesterday's love story, shot aboard the Museum of the Broads' trip boat, focused on an elderly woman's memories of falling in love as a teenager.

Director Jasmine Carter, 15, of Hazel Way, Gorleston, explained that the story had a happy ending when the woman - played by Mr Masters' wife Pamela - was reunited with her former love in old age.

Lynn Grove drama student Ella Alyward, 15, who played the young heroine alongside her cousin Joe Buckley, 16, from Langley School, near Loddon, said: 'Making these films is an excellent opportunity to learn all about film making as well as acting.'

Mr Abbas said: 'The stories are amazing - and they have all come from the students working outside of school hours.'

The story about the marshman has been the inspiration of student Jack Trueman, 14, whose grandfather looks after cattle at Somerleyton.

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