FUTURE film stars graced the red carpet during an extra special event organised to make up for the experiences school pupils have missed out on during the pandemic.

Year 6 pupils from Mayflower Primary School attended the school’s first film festival at the Electric Palace in Harwich.

It came as Year 6 teacher Alexandra Larue was determined to ensure the children had an exciting event to provide them with special memories alongside their friends.

Ms Larue took it upon herself to complete online training about filmmaking and came up with the idea of a film festival where the children have their own short films shown at the historic Electric Palace.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Dressed for the occasion - Max Williams and Edward PiperDressed for the occasion - Max Williams and Edward Piper

The pupils then spent several weeks scripting, planning, filming and editing their tapes, but the originally-scheduled event had to be cancelled due to Covid.

However, the children were dressed up to the nines for red carpet photos and the festival which took place on a reorganised date.

“I wanted to create an experience that the children could use to highlight their resilience and determination, while also providing them with an exciting learning experience,” Ms Larue said.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Starlets - Lily Burrows and Zoe KirkStarlets - Lily Burrows and Zoe Kirk

“This film festival allowed them to be creative and to develop skills and virtues which will help them in their continuing academic journey.”

The festival certainly came as a welcome treat to the Year 6 pupils, who have missed out on their residential trip, end-of-year production, end-of-year disco and prize-giving and leaving assemblies.

Karen Wright, the school’s deputy headteacher, said the afternoon was a memorable one.

“We are so pleased the film festival was able to go ahead after so much preparation took place,” she said.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Edward Piper, Miley Sayer, Karzayha Muhammad, Zac Levett-O’Brien, Charlie TuttonEdward Piper, Miley Sayer, Karzayha Muhammad, Zac Levett-O’Brien, Charlie Tutton

“The children have been so resilient throughout this pandemic and, due to missing out on so many of the usual memory-making events, we were delighted to be able to ensure the pupils had a special, memorable experience to end their time at Mayflower.

“The staff have gone over and above to ensure this took place, and the parents have been so supportive throughout.

“They were determined to ensure the children had a party and organised the disco between themselves.

“Due to the overwhelming success of the event, we are hoping to recreate it annually.”

Purchase Monday's Gazette for a two-page picture spread of the event.