Mature Student's Story is Made into a Film

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A story, written by a Canadian-born mature student at the University of Worcester is to be made into a feature-length film, commissioned by an independent production company.

White Raven Films are set to start filming ‘A Gift From War’, written by Andrew Owens, in April next year. The film is about a former soldier who is troubled by his experiences in Afghanistan, but discovers salvation by saving his deceased friend's sister from a life of domestic abuse.

“I feel very excited about this project. I had never imagined that I would have the opportunity to write a film script,” said the 43-year-old. “I had always pictured myself as a writer of short stories and novels. White Raven Films have also asked me to be on set for filming. I can hardly wait to see a story of mine being made into a film.”

Andrew, who was born in Toronto, grew up on a farm in Cookstown, Ontario and moved to Worcester in May 1996 was approached by White Raven Films following a previous documentary he was involved in.

“White Raven Films were filming a documentary of the Boars Head Pub in Kidderminster,” he said. “Heather Wastie, who organises a poetry, music and spoken word event there, put my name forward as someone they should use in the documentary. I met with them and I recited a poem I’d written, which they subsequently used in their documentary.

“They then asked me if I would be interested in writing a feature length film for them. I accepted and wrote the first eleven pages for them to read. We met again, they loved what I’d written and asked me to write the rest of the script. On reading the completed script, they informed me that it would be commissioned and that they intend to start filming in April 2015. The film is to be called “A Gift From War”.”

Andrew, a former toolmaker, is currently in the second year of a Joint Honours degree in Creative & Professional Writing and Screenwriting at the University of Worcester.

“I had visited the University of Worcester during an Open Day and had found out that there was a Creative & Professional Writing course, which I had always wanted to do,” he said. “I had also been asked at that time if I would write a script for White Raven. As soon as I discovered that I could do Joint Honours in Screenwriting, I filled out an application immediately.”

Andrew’s work has been attracting much attention in recent years.

“Three years ago I entered a competition called ‘As You Read It’ and was one of eight finalists who won the opportunity to read out their story in front of a live audience of 350 people at Malvern Theatres,” he said. “Then in May of this year, a collection of my short stories ‘Portraits of Prose’ was released by Black Pear Press.

“Four of the stories in my collection were late additions, two of which were stories I had written as part of my Creative Writing classes at the University.”