08 February 2017
The Pitch winner on his way to Hollywood
Harry Lighton has won The Pitch film competition with his short film idea Leash.
Leash is based on the story of Elisha from the book of Kings in the Bible.
The 24-year-old budding film maker re-imagined the story for post-referendum Britain.
Nev Pierce, one of the competition judges and editor of Empire magazine, said: "Harry is fantastically confident and wasn't thrown by any of the questioning in the boardroom.
"He was very clear in his delivery, articulate and engaging and has made a very smart take on the biblical text.
"He is a talent!"
The film was inspired by a series of hates crimes against Poles in the wake of the EU Referendum and features a story about a Polish teenager and her single-mother who are subject to xenophobic abuse.
Leash retells the story of Elisha arriving in Bethel and being taunted by a group of youths insulting him with the words: "Go up your baldhead," - a racist insult as baldness was considered a blemish against Israelites.
The film focusses on the value of inclusiveness as the character of Elisha becomes Alicja and Bethel is swapped for an English seaside location where the taunt to "go up" becomes a taunt to "go home".
Harry said: "It's incredible! I've worked so hard for this. It's a muddling feeling that I can't quite register at the moment: I'm thinking about what's ahead of me but I do feel very happy.
"I know the next six months will be tough, but I can't wait to get started."
The Pitch is an opportunity for filmmakers to pitch short film idea to win a budget of £27.5K for production support and advice from top industry professionals.
The unique challenge of The Pitch is to come up with a contemporary film drawing on The Bible for inspiration.
Harry has won a cash production budget of £27,500 with production support on top to deliver the short film.
He will also go to Hollywood and meet a host of industry professionals who will give their feedback on his completed film.