Video: Hollywood directors Sam Mendes and Edgar Wright to judge short film by Wymondham High School students

A group of 44 students from Wymondham High School have seen their short film nominated for a cinema award – and it will now be judged by two Hollywood directors.

Their film, entitled Death's Apprentice, has been nominated for a First Light Award after working with Creative Arts East through funding from the UK Film Council's First Light initiative.

The 10-minute film is based on a story of unrequited love, turned obsession, and given a Gothic twist by the students, who have set the story on Halloween, when 'Death' falls in love with a mortal girl.

The youngsters were encouraged to take leading roles in the directing, filming and editing of the production, working around a script they had written earlier in the year with the help of First Light's Script Development Grant.

The film was shot in various locations around Wymondham and Norwich, including the St Stephen's subway.

First Light aims to help develop the confidence and increase aspirations of under-25s by giving them a creative voice. The organisation works across rural and disadvantaged areas in which young people may have limited access to creative opportunities.

Project leader at Creative Arts East, Natalie Jones, said: 'The children were enthusiastic from start to finish and took an instrumental role in the making of the film, with just a point in the right direction.'

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Sophie Rudgley, 19, played the lead female role.

She said: 'It was a nice change from working on the stage in the theatre like I did for my A-levels and I would love to get involved again. It was really different. I've always liked drama but now I think I like film acting more.'

The Wymondham students are nominated in the Best Film by Over 12's category and will be judged by Sam Mendes, who won the Oscar for best director with American Beauty and Edgar Wright, who directed British comedy hit, Hot Fuzz.

Death's Apprentice will compete against two other films by groups from Edinburgh and Slough and the winners will be announced at the annual First Light Award Ceremony at BFI Southbank in London, on Monday, March 5.

First Light has received support from industry professionals and the awards have been previously attended by stars such as Kevin Spacey, Miranda Hart and James Corden.

Barbara Broccoli, First Light chair and veteran of 11 James Bond films, said of the awards: 'The future of the British Film Industry will benefit from the talents nurtured by First Light and celebrated at the awards.'

- Is your school organising a project? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or