Drama student's big screen debut in 'Olivia Twist' leaves young actress wanting more!

May 01, 2013

The glitz and glamour of the red carpet has left a Manchester Performing Arts student with dreams of wanting more after seeing her first film debut on the silver-screen.

Ellie Mahyoub, 18, from Worsley, took on the lead role of Olivia in “Olivia Twist” and joined more than 500 students from across the region who packed The Printworks, Manchester, on Friday (26 April) for special cast and crew screenings of five new films from The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) offers young people a chance to experience the thrills and challenges of feature-film production with “Olivia Twist” filmed last summer by Arno Hazebroek, a director and writer whose work as an actor and stuntman has seen him perform on films with Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Swayze, Val Kilmer and Rob Schneider.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The film is described as a contemporary adaptation that stays true to the gritty tone and social commentary of Charles Dickens’ classic novel and, a further ‘twist’ was provided by Lucinda Hawksley, the great, great, great, grand-daughter of Dickens who joined students during filming to deliver workshops, talks, insight and, a cameo appearance in the film.

Ellie Mahyoub, who is aiming to go on to drama school after graduating this summer, said: “I was really excited and nervous all at the same time. This is my first film, it all started with a general audition but I was asked to come back and audition for the role of “Olivia” and, now to see it at the cinema is just the best experience - I don’t want it to end.”

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “When opportunities, passion and enthusiasm collide it is truly life changing and inspirational - exactly the kind of exciting environment that BYFA creates. Our work with BYFA is helping to bring about a cultural shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country, a key objective of The Co-operative’s commitment to inspiring young people.”

Arno Hazebroek, said: “It's been a great pleasure to make “Olivia Twist” with The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy and its amazing students. From adapting the novel into a contemporary story to watching the students explore and champion the material as actors and film crew members, it's been a splendid journey full of joy – I am very proud of the end result.”

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is itself a co-operative with its membership made up of twenty colleges and universities. It is funded by The Co-operative as part of its commitment to inspiring young people with professionals from the worlds of film and education offering 14-25 year-olds a chance to experience everything from acting to make-up and wardrobe to camera and post-production.

Students or colleges wanting further information about getting involved with BYFA should visit www.britishyouthfilmacademy.com

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Mob: 07702 505551
Email: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop