Pupils at Miles Coverdale Primary
School starred in their own film, based on the Hollywood classic
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers - and cast headteacher Anne
Hennessey in the cameo role of a mad dinner lady.
The 16-minute film, called Conform or Die, tells the story of
ten-year-old Becky who tries to save her school and the world
from the conforming ways of a new teacher who has an unhealthy
obsession with peas. Her mission is to prevent the children, other
staff and the rest of humanity from being 'podded'.
Originally, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers' main theme was
the alien dehumanising and take-over of an entire community by
large seed pods (found in basements, automobile trunks, a greenhouse,
and on a pool table) that replicated and replaced human beings.
Ten pupils, aged 10 and 11, took part in the film, which was produced
with the help of the west London-based Children's Video Trust.
Filming took place over February half-term and the first screening
will be at the school, in Coverdale Road, W12, at 7pm on Monday
Ms Hennessey said: "The children came into school every day
during their February half-term break to make the film, which
is phenomenal. They worked really hard."
The lead role of Becky was played by Sabah Awan, 11, and the lead
boy role of Miles was played by Mikel Thompson, 11. Karen Freeman,
a learning mentor at the school, played a doctor and WPC Samm
Postance, a schools liaison officer from Hammersmith police station,
played herself. Professional actors played the parts of the new
teacher and headteacher.
The film will be submitted to the International Young Person's
Film/Video Festival which takes place in Hannover, Germany, in
November, and receives more than 2,000 entries from all over the
world, with 90 being selected for screening. The Children's Video
Trust has won awards at three of the last four festivals, which
are held every two years.
Conform or Die producer Vincent McGrath, from the Children's Video
Trust, said: "The lead girl Sabah gave an extraordinary performance
and the headteacher is fantastic as the crazy dinner lady. All
the children really got into making the film and they said they
would love to do another one."