Big screen success for Hemel youngsters

Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) students from 12 selected academies – including one in Hemel Hempstead – saw their films on the big screen at a Leicester Square cinema recently.

Hemel Hempstead youngsters had their film shown on the big screen
Hemel Hempstead youngsters had their film shown on the big screen

Earlier this year 61 PQAs submitted their films to be in for a chance to have their work screened as part of this year’s PQA & Empire Cinemas Film Festival in Leicester Square.

More than 150 films were submitted and the top 16 films have been specially selected by an external panel of film industry professionals.

One of the chosen films was created by PQA Hemel Hempstead and the cast, crew and fans were invited to join the exciting event in Leicester Square.

Hemel Hempstead youngsters had their film shown on the big screen PNL-140919-170216001

The premiere saw over 1,000 students, friends and family who all travelled to London to take part in the festival.

The Pauline Quirke Academy is a weekend performing arts school, offering outstanding tuition for four to 18-year-olds.

As well as tuition in comedy & drama and musical theatre, one of the big draws is the film & television module, which offers the chance to explore screen acting and film-making.

Students devise, script and storyboard their short films, before embarking on location scouting and rehearsals.

Hemel Hempstead youngsters had their film shown on the big screen PNL-140919-170227001

They then shoot their films, working just like a professional film crew, with some students acting in a scene whilst others take on the roles of director, camera operator, sound engineer, first assistant director and so on.

It’s a ‘hands on’ approach, with the aim of teaching students the techniques of cinematic storytelling whilst understanding the many different roles on a film or TV set and how these people all work together to create a great piece of work.

PQA films have also been selected for film festivals all over the world, including New York, India, Film Nation in London and a recent ‘best film’ win at the Limelight Film Awards for PQA Aylesbury’s short ‘Boy Soldiers.’

Meanwhile PQA Coventry’s film about bullying ‘I Am’ attracted a global audience on YouTube when Lady Gaga’s charity tweeted about it.

Another benefit of the module is the experience it gives to those students who want to audition for professional jobs, through PQA’s exclusive agency, Quirky Kidz.

Their knowledge of screen acting techniques means PQA students can approach TV and film auditions with confidence and many have gone on to win parts in high profile TV shows and film projects as a result.

The opportunities the film & TV module presents are tremendously exciting, but the ultimate benefit is the life skills it teaches.

Pauline Quirke said: “Our students love this module partly because of the relevance of the medium, but also because it gives them the chance to improve their communication skills by actually seeing and hearing what they are doing.”

The winners of the competition were films that demonstrated outstanding skills in screen acting, lighting, sound, editing, direction, and script.

The judges were particularly impressed with PQA Hemel Hempstead, and could not wait to see their film ‘Where, Wolf?’ on the big screen.

For more information about joining PQA Hemel Hempstead please visit or call 084567 32022