A HOLLYWOOD scriptwriter, a television star and a board member of London Film were among the guests at this year’s second annual festival.

Held at Cineworld in Bexleyheath Broadway, the festival has now been renamed the Rob Knox Film Festival in memory of the murdered teenage Harry Potter actor.

Opening the event, Bexley councillor and cabinet member for community affairs, Katie Perrior said the first festival had attracted four hours worth of short films.

This year, more than 100 hours had been submitted, which had to be pared down to just two hours worth for the festival.

She said: “I look forward to even more next year.”

This year’s festival was widened out to include film makers of all ages and not just young people and it attracted a variety of different offerings, lasting anything from one to 15 minutes.

There were 15 films on show to the packed and appreciative audience and five awards up for grabs.

The judges were Jamie Knox, Rob’s younger brother and also an actor; Hollywood scriptwriter Ben Trebilcook who grew up in Welling: Alexandra Tomlinson head of media arts at St Catherine’s Catholic Girls’ School in Bexleyheath; John Watterson Bexley Arts Council member and photography lecturer; Mike Turner an international camcorder judge and Valentina Ruffoni, a third year student at Rose Bruford College, Sidcup, and a founder member of the festival’s organising committee.

Best Screenplay

Mr Trebilcook presented the award for best screenplay.

This Is Local London: Ben Trebilcook

In an earlier interview, he explained how his own career in films began.

He said: “I always wanted to go into films.

“I started out making sketches, me and a friend.

“We would go round Bexleyheath and film ourselves dressed up, much like Kenny Everett.”

With no family connections and unable to afford the thousands of pounds for a place at film school, he ended up working in a Bexleyheath supermarket.

His break came when he wrote a speculative script for Die Hard 4, which was not used, but led to other script invitations by big Hollywood film companies.

The winners of his award were Beths Grammar School pupils Kit Bradshaw and Carl Salton-Cox, for their film Schiessen Sie about an undercover British soldier during the Second World War haunted by his experiences.

Mr Trebilcook identified the teenagers as talents for the future and has offered to help them get into the industry.

Best Editing

The prize for best editing went to Alex Sutcliffe for David Hewitt’s film Tomorrow’s Forecast in which a television gameshow host is challenged by a teen gang and has to confront the fact he killed one of them.

It was presented by Martin Pilgrim a board member of Film London, the capital’s film and media agency which promotes London as a film location and provides funding and support for London film makers and festivals.

He said: “Film is very important and it meant a great deal to Rob.

“Film London and I very proud to be part of that recognition.”

He also spoke about grants now being made available by Film London and said it had been working with Bexley to bring its Film Challenge Fund to the borough.

Best Directing

Bexley Arts Council chairman and Bexley councillor John Davey presented the prize for best directing to Stephen Frost for his film Is Anybody There? about a daughter dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s.

The arts council is one of the festival organisers and Cllr Davey said he was not surprised at the amount of talent on display at this year’s festival.

Best Community Film

Bellfield School by Syd Heather and Mark Churchyard tells the story of a pupil who discovers all the other students in the school are dead, and the killer is still on the loose.

It won the award for best community film, which was presented by The Bill actor, Graham Cole.

He is also patron of Pointless Taxi productions, the Bexley club for young film makers and another festival organiser.

He led the applause for all the film makers saying they had done “a fantastic job”.

He also praised Mick Wearing, a former Bexley police officer who now works in Neighbourhood Services for Bexley Council, and who has been the driving force behind the festival.

This Is Local London: Mick Waring

Mr Cole said: “What can I say about him? What an inspiration.”

Best Film

The final award of the evening, for best film, was presented by Rob’s father Colin Knox.

It went to Taxi by Paul Olding and tells the story of four encounters a cabbie has with passengers in his black cab.

Mr Knox said he and his wife Sally had not thought twice before giving their consent to the renaming of the festival after their son, nor about presenting one of the festival awards.

He said the family was trying to put their efforts into using Rob’s name and spoke about their involvement with the Street Violence Ruins Lives launched by Charlton Athletic Football Club.

He said the Football Association had shown interest and it could be rolled out to all league clubs.

Mr Knox also said the family had joined forces with the parents of Jimmy Mizen and Damilola Taylor’s family.

He spoke about the Rob Knox Fund, which he said would be used to fund a scholarship to send someone to drama college “to help make their dreams come true”.

Mr Knox said: “Some of the stuff here tonight has been fantastic.

“It can only go on to get better every year and I give 100 per cent support to it.”

As well as a trophy, all the winners were given two tickets to the world premiere of the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince next month.

Rob Knox had finished filming his part in the film, just before he died.

Mr Knox said the film makers had offered the family a preview showing before the film was released, so they could “get over the emotion of seeing him, in private”.

He added: “It will be the last moment he was alive.”

All the films will be shown during the Danson Festival at Danson Park, Welling, on July 4 and July 5.

Watch out for clips of some of the festival films on News Shopper’s website