Stage set for Wigan movie

Ashton actor Damian Nickson in Henry V
Ashton actor Damian Nickson in Henry V

A WIGAN director will be giving the order “Lights, Camera, Action” for a group of students bidding to become film stars this summer.

Up to 150 young people from across the region will get the chance to star in a new full-length feature, The Last British Execution, being made at Wigan and Leigh College.

The movie, directed and co-written by former college student Iain Cash, is a dark and gritty comedy exploring the power of reality TV within popular culture.

The main location will be the college’s School for the Arts campus on Parson’s Walk, and scenes will also be shot in various locations around the town.

The movie is being made by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA), an organisation giving young people the chance to experience the excitement of the world of cinema, from casting to on location shooting to editing and the glamorous thrill of the red carpet premiere.

Iain, from Winstanley, will come to the project fresh from securing the award for the best local-made short film at the Pennine Film Festival for his film Tea Break.

The 32-year-old said: “It’s going to be a challenge to bring the script to screen but also great fun. A fantastic opportunity for everyone involved, BYFA gives students a unique opportunity, not only can they see first hand how a film is made but they will also be the ones making it.”

Wigan and Leigh College students are no strangers to the work of BYFA, as they also took part in a new film version of Shakespeare’s epic history play Henry V last year, which starred Wigan actor Damian Nickson in the title role and will receive its premiere later this year.

The shooting, which will see students teaming up with experienced professionals from the film industry, will take place over five weeks during the college’s summer holidays.

Wigan School for the Arts manager Andrea Neild said: “BYFA provides unique opportunities outside of the classroom where learning can be put to a realistic test with all the pressures and fun of working on a real film set.”

BYFA director Kevin Atkinson said: “The film industry is notoriously hard to break in to and it is our aim to break down those barriers, making this opportunity accessible to all.”