Impoverished film directors aim high for help

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The Independent Online
Students whose film career hopes hinge on a movie-making venture have turned to singer/musician Chris Rea and Oscar-winning film director Mike Leigh in an attempt to overcome a potentially crippling blow.

Four film-makers at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design have a crew and actors ready to start shooting their own mini epic, More Than One Use for a Stiletto.

But after losing their main financial backer due to the Hong Kong stock market crash they have sent urgent pleas for help to Rea and Leigh. They decided to try Rea because he is from Teesside, the location for their venture, and recently launched his own first film, La Passione, while Leigh's latest movie Career Girls was partly shot at Hartlepool, also in the area.

The group's spokesperson, Debbie Herbert, 22, said they had lost the cash earmarked for food and lodging for the actors and crew, a major part of their pounds 5,000 production cost.

"We need pounds 1,600 and if the worst comes to the worst we will use money allocated for the later editing."

They made savings by recruiting local actors prepared to work for just expenses and were preparing to launch the operation at the weekend despite the setback.

The film is about three girls on a night out in Hartlepool. The film- makers hoped it would be good enough to make a mark at Cannes and other film festivals and for a Channel 4 screening.