A behind the scenes look at the making of The Helpful Dead, a short animation by Year Five children in Dorset selected for screening at the 2012 Co-operative Film Festival in November.

The three minute drama screened during the summer at the Weymouth Olympic live sites, ICCI 360 dome and National Sailing Academy tells the story of an Olympic sailor battling strong winds - and an emotional link with a shipping disaster off Dorset’s Chesil beach more than 140 years ago.

Project Producer, dramatherapist Sharon Hayden, said the children had studied and photographed their locations to give the film a strong sense of place and local identity.  “In their research they found a first hand account of the wreck of the Royal Adelaide in a head teacher’s log book from 1872. This gave them the idea to link a Victorian tragedy with the 2012 Olympics,”  she explained.

“We are incredibly grateful to First Light for believing in us. Thanks to their support, these nine and ten year old children have produced some remarkable work. It has been a transformative experience for them.” 

More information about the Helpful Dead and other films made with Weymouth and Portland schools can be found at dorchesterarts.org.uk/projects or nisbetmedia.co.uk.

The film was funded by the Lottery through the BFI’s First Light initiative.

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