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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 179

Date:- 11 December 2004

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Top award for young movie makers

FIGHTING off 800 film makers, the young Liverpool film makers Croxteth Community Comprehensive have won a top international award for their Jimmy McGovern-inspired movie.

They received top honours at the prestigious Chicago International Children's Film Festival for Escalating, a silent slapstick comedy. The film was named Best Child Produced Film. 

Mentored by award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern, twelve students aged 14 and 15, wrote, directed and filmed their masterpiece in Liverpool.

The film follows a young man's rocky adventure along the path of true love.

Jimmy McGovern said:- "I'm absolutely delighted and I'm proud to have been associated with the pupils. But I have to say that I'm not surprised. 
They worked really hard and their win is testimony to their creativity. It's amazing to think that they won first prize out of a shortlist of over 200 other films - some of them written and directed by professionals.   This was their first time out. It's stunning really. I can't imagine winning an award like this at their age. It's a great sign of the potential for future writing and film making in Liverpool." 
The Lord Mayor hosted a special reception for the students and Jimmy McGovern at Liverpool Town Hall on Friday 10 December.  Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Roderick, said:- "These students are ambassadors for the city. 

It is a remarkable achievement to win such a prestigious prize. It's wonderful to think these youngsters were inspired by homegrown talent and it goes to show how much talent and creativity there is on offer in Liverpool."

At Friday's ceremony, Councillor Roderick re-present the Chicago Film Festival Globe to the students.

The film was made as part of Liverpool's Writing on the Wall Festival, a UK Film Council initiative to inspire creativity in young people. Mike Morris from the festival said:- "We were impressed by the quality of the films produced, and very proud Escalating went on to win this top award. 
Young people's talent is one of the reasons why Liverpool is Capital of Culture 2008. They need Festivals such as ours, to give them a platform to display their talents. We hope that the film, and the young people who created it, will go on to future success."

Following the student's success in Chicago, the film will be shown at Toronto's young film makers festival 'Sprockets' in April, at Australia's Children's Film Festival in June and also the Massachusetts 'Kids Best Fest' next year.

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BUS operator Arriva has conducted some new research that has shown people in the northwest are the most unoriginal in the country when it comes down to buying Christmas presents.

The survey was primarily conducted to find out more about the shopping habits of bus users during the busy Christmas period.

The ladies fare the worst on the surprise gift front, with almost 75% receiving perfume, chocolates and toiletries every year.

50% of men typically get given the old faithful of presents, socks and aftershave on Christmas day.

Derek Bowes, commercial manager of Arriva North West and Wales, said:- "Although we might be the most unoriginal when it comes to purchasing gifts, at least we haven't been labelled with buying the most unromantic presents. That falls to our friends in the midlands who are guilty of giving irons to their loved ones."

The men of Wales are the most likely to buy sexy underwear and to whisk their partners away on a weekend break, proving that romance really isn't dead. 

You could be realy origional and get your loved one a bus ticket!


THE Queen has honoured disabled polar explorer Michael McGrath, and Cyclone Mobility & Fitness the company that supported him say they are delighted. McGrath is the first disabled person in the world to have reached both poles.

McGrath, a top motivational speaker, charity fundraiser and 'Good will ambassador' for the Wirral based company, spent 15 days in Antarctica reaching the South Pole on the 13 January this year. Strapped into the supine position on an adapted sledge, Micheal travelled the last 5km, and the last 350m he walked, assisted by his team, each metre symbolically represented 100,000 people worldwide with muscle disorders, including the debilitating condition, Muscular Dystrophy, which Micheal has.

He commented:- "In exploring human potential, we are intrinsically connected to one other by muscles that bind us together, muscles that give us the power to achieve, muscles that enables us to realise our ambitions. Despite having lost some 65% of my muscle bulk, our aim was to highlight ability, not disability, whilst generating global awareness towards those with Muscular Dystrophy. Even though my condition has deteriorated over the past 2 years, I managed to walk further at the south pole, thanks in part to the continuing help and invaluable support provided by companies like Cyclone Mobility & Fitness." 

Cyclone's managing director, Stuart Dunne said:- "As a disabled man who's supported Micheal for a number of years, I am delighted that he's been honoured for his inspirational contribution to the life of our nation. We're both similar animals in that we refuse to allow our won disabilities to dictate the life choices we make.

I supported Micheal in his amazing 'pole2pole' endeavour because he was a physically disadvantaged person undertaking an unparalleled feat, but also because he wanted to make a bold statement that no task was too great if the desire to complete the journey came from the heart."

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