The vision of two young Dunfermline filmmakers has been praised after their short film to help bullying victims won a national competition.
Ellie Willcocks, 17, and Annabelle Rand, 16, created the anti-bullying film Monster (Like Me) to encourage young people to embrace their uniqueness regardless of what others think.
The talented Woodmill High School duo have been tipped for stardom after writing, starring in and producing the creative short film which was praised by Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville.
The film was chosen by anti-bullying charity RespectMe’s as its under-18 secondary winner in a filmmaking competition in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire of Film.
Monster (Like Me)
‘A banner of hope’
Speaking of their achievement, Ellie and Annabelle, said: “We are glad to be able to provide a sense of comfort and reassurance to those who feel isolated in their thoughts and feelings, longing to be understood.
“We know first-hand what it feels like to view yourself as a monster but we hope our film stands as a banner of hope that your insecurities don’t shine as bright as your own uniqueness.
“The things that make you different are the things that bring you closer to other kindred spirits. This is how we both found each other.
“We now hope to take this achievement in our stride and continue our creative endeavours in film, theatre and television.
“We hope to be able to share stories with our own striking edge with which we hope to push the boundaries and infuse a little bit of chaos into our local town and beyond.”
Their film will be used to help pupils overcome bullying and promoting the charity’s #WhatMadeItBetter campaign and the girls will join a unique filmmaker’s masterclass experience delivered by Scotland’s Conservatoire of Film programme starting in the 2022/23 term.
‘Bright futures’ ahead
Sandy McIntosh, head teacher of the Dunfermline secondary school, said he is “immensely proud” of Ellie and Annabelle’s “vision and creativity”.
He continued: “As artists and filmmakers they have amazing potential and I know they will go on to achieve further success.”
Education Shirley-Anne Somerville, who is also the area’s MSP, said the experiences shared will improve the lives of others experiencing bullying.
Attending RespectMe’s young filmmaker’s virtual premiere event, she said: “Congratulations to the winners of the filmmaker’s competition.
“Thank you to all the young people who took part in this fantastic opportunity. By sharing your experiences and making your voices heard, you can help make life better for other young people experiencing bullying.”