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Nottingham shot film wins national award

April 2015

A SHORT film shot in Nottingham city centre and starring Wollaton actress Lauren Carse has picked up a major award.
Echo, a 15-minute drama about a schoolgirl who tricks shoppers into giving her cash, won Best Short at the National Film Awards in London, where the likes of Idris Elba and Tulisa Contostavlos were in attendance.
“It was great that we won although we weren’t expecting it because we were sat right at the back,” laughs Lauren.
“And we were on a table with the people who supplied the linen for the tables, so we thought this is not spelling out ‘award-winning’.”
She collected the award with the film’s producer Lawrence Mason.
“It took an age for us to get to the stage,” adds the 23-year-old.
“And it was the last award of the night so I was on my third glass of wine after two glasses of champagne.”
The graduate of the Television Workshop thanked its director Ian Smith during her speech.
“I mentioned the cast and crew who couldn’t be there and thanked Ian for his continued support, much like Jack O’Connell did at the Baftas.”
The fellow Workshopper was up for two awards for the drama Starred Up and the film ‘71 at the National Film Awards at Porchester Hall in Mayfair.
“He couldn’t be there because he was filming in New York,” says Lauren, whose character in Echo is a 17-year-old called Caroline. She is seen taking a call on her mobile, becoming distressed at some apparent bad news about her dad being in a motorbike accident. But it’s a con, to trick passers-by into giving her money for a taxi to the hospital. It’s based on an incident witness by the film’s writer James Walker.
Its director came to the Television Workshop, where Lauren started as an 11-year-old, to cast the film.
It was shot two years ago in King Street, Wheeler Gate and the Old Market Square, where Lauren is seen with her on-screen brother, played by Newark teenager Oliver Woollford.
So convincing was her apparent distress, many people interrupted filming to check if she was OK.
“That was really reassuring, good on you, Nottingham,” says Lauren who has also appeared in Casualty, Doctors and the Nottingham-set BBC drama Truckers.
Echo director Lewis Arnold went on to work on TV dramas Misfits, Human and Russell T Davies’ E4 drama Banana, in which Lauren also appeared.
“He couldn’t come to the awards because he was casting in Manchester,” says the former Fernwood Comprehensive pupil.
“I was at the audition but I got to London in time for the awards.”
She adds: “I’ve been to quite a few auditions lately are quite exciting.”
Others at the awards included Keith Chegwin, Rizzle Kicks, Linda Robson, EastEnders’ Tanya Franks, were in attendance.
The red carpet event, included a goodie bag for nominees that included jewellery.
“There was another one we were given on the way out that included popcorn, water and chutney,” she laughs.
“We were really treated.”

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