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Red carpet rolled out for children's film premiere

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Published on 25 January 2024

Fulwell Junior School children are captivated by their movie premiere at the University of Sunderland
Fulwell Junior School children are captivated by their movie premiere at the University of Sunderland

Children from Fulwell Junior School got the red carpet treatment and "felt like movie stars" for the night after showcasing a big screen premiere of a production of their film, ‘Macbeth – the Witches Trial’ at the University of Sunderland. 

The children created their own adaptation of the Shakespeare classic which was premiered on Monday (January 22) in front of more than 200 people - including the mayor, Cllr Dorothy Trueman and Sunderland director of education, Simon Marshall - at the University's Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, St Peter's Campus.

The 28 Year 6 pupils, who were dressed in suits and evening dresses, made their red carpet entrance to a pre-screening drinks and canape reception which was followed by a premiere of their movie on the University's big screen.

In an Oscars style ceremony, the youngsters then received awards for their different roles in the movie and the night was captured on camera.

The children created the movie as part of the international Shakespeare Schools Film Festival in which schools were given the remit to create a "re-imagining" of Macbeth.

Fulwell Junior School chose to re-tell the story through the eyes of the three witches who were on trial following the murder of King Duncan.

Lily Waine, 10, played the part of the lawyer leading the prosecution.

She said: "I really enjoyed making the movie and my favourite part was putting it all together at the end.

"It was so exciting to see the movie premiere with my parents, brother and granddad. It made me feel like I was at the Oscars."

Emma Waine, 10, who played the defence lawyer said: "Going to the University was like a real movie premiere and I felt like a movie star. I had even practised a pose for the camera on the red carpet.

"It was really exciting to see the movie and watching it on the big screen felt like all our work had paid off."

Also watching the premiere was headteacher Peter Speck and deputy headteacher Lucy Hill.

Mr Speck said: "It was an incredibly special event and when I was in the auditorium, I'm not sure whether I was spending more time looking at the movie or at the smiles and reactions on the children's faces.

"I'm incredibly proud of them."

Mrs Hill added: "The project embodied all the values we have at our school and you really saw the confidence of the children grow between the start and end of the project.

"It was a completely inclusive experience which enabled children from different classes to come together."

Filming of the movie was split between sites around the school, Seaburn beach and Kinetics film studio in Washington, who helped bring the children's production to life.

The project was led by assistant headteacher Katrina Humphries who said: "Last night's premiere was the icing on the cake and the children really enjoyed the whole process.

"I had goose bumps when the movie appeared on the big screen and the buzz and vibe around the whole night was great."

With plans officially submitted for a new £450m film studio, Crown Works Studio - a joint venture between global entertainment company Fulwell 73 and Cain International - on the banks of the Wear, Mrs Humphries hopes the project may have inspired the future actors, producers and directors of tomorrow.

She said: "As part of the project the children also learned about some of the 8,500 roles in the movie industry. With the development of the new film studio, a career in movies is a realistic goal for children in the city."

Emma added: "I would like to be an actor one day."

*Original article was first published in the Sunderland Echo.