Merton winning film through to Film London final

Young Merton actors Frances Bushe (23) and Chris Sheridan (23) have come top in Merton’s Film London competition with their film Timeless Fun.

Now in with a chance to be screened at the Best of Boroughs film awards at BAFTA on 12 July, the 90-second film won its creators £300 which they will be spending on film editing software for future ventures.

Earlier this year, Merton Council, in partnership with Film London, called on its residents to record their own 90-second film for the Film London competition Film Merton in 90 seconds. Entrants were asked to explore and interpret the theme ‘bridging the gap’ through the eye of a camcorder or mobile phone.

Frances’ and Chris’s silent, stop motion film plays on Merton’s tennis heritage as the two characters chase a tennis ball through various locations within the borough. The female character in the film is in full modern-day tennis kit, while the male character is fitted out in tennis clothes from the 19th century, emphasising the popularity of tennis through time.

The range of scenes in the film takes place at locations in both east and west Merton, including Morden Hall Park, Cricket Green, Centre Court shopping centre, Wimbledon Village, St Mary’s Church in Merton, Merton Abbey Mills, Merton Park and John Innes Park.

To view the film, go to: http://www.merton.gov.uk/filmvid.htm

Merton Council director of environment and regeneration Chris Lee said: “It is always so thrilling to see the creative talent we have in this borough. Congratulations to Frances and Chris for their wonderful short film about Merton. We are continuing to develop cultural opportunities in Merton from which all our residents can benefit. Working in partnership with Film London in this way has provided us with a great opportunity. I wish our two actors and budding film-makers every success for this film and others they will undoubtedly make in the future.”

Frances said: “This was an amazing opportunity and the perfect chance for Chris and me to make our first film. Stop animation is a fantastic process but requires a lot of patience – in total we took over 2000 photographs and spent days carefully planning locations and shots, but it was incredibly worth it. We are very proud of our little short and are already looking forward to our next project. I hope Timeless Fun illustrates how green and beautiful Merton can be.”

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