Two talented creatives from Batley and Spen made it to the final of a prestigious Parliamentary competition searching for the best and brightest new talent in the industry.

The annual Film the House competition is run by Members of Parliament to find the next generation of filmmakers and scriptwriters, and to raise awareness of the importance of protecting intellectual property.

Two locals were shortlisted in the over 16 categories, who are both from Batley, with Chris Cronin shortlisted for his short film, Oscar’s Bell, and Zaid Hassan commended for his script, Dead Endz.

The final, which was attended by Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, saw talented filmmakers from throughout the UK compete for the top prize in a series of categories.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “I’m extremely proud that two of the talented finalists hail from Batley and I’m sure they both have wonderful careers ahead of them.

“Zaid and Chris are fantastic examples of the wealth of creative talent we have here in Batley and Spen and the more people that know about it, the better.

“I’d encourage any local filmmakers to throw their hats into the ring for next year’s competition – it’s a brilliant opportunity to have your work showcased to industry professionals.”

Winners of the competition received prizes including mentoring from industry professionals, a private screening of their film for friends and family, and a certificate of classification by BBFC.

Zaid Hassan said: “Attending the Film the House ceremony at the House of Commons was a great experience. It was surreal at times, discussing my script with my MP and chatting with prominent film and TV directors.

“I learned that there are real opportunities in the film industry and would encourage others to submit to future competitions.”

Chris Cronin said: “I’ve been a professional filmmaker most of my adult life but the Film The House competition was my first opportunity to represent my hometown.

“Meeting other creatives from around the country was invaluable and there was something really rewarding about everyone representing their local area in the House Of Commons.”

Lord Dobbs, presenter of the awards and writer and executive producer of House of Cards, said:

“The UK film industry is a cornerstone of the creative industries, whose success relies heavily on the protection of intellectual property (IP).

“It’s essential that legislators help cultivate these industries by supporting IP rights, to ensure creators can confidently continue to produce outstanding work. Film the House is a brilliant Parliamentary competition that helps highlight the importance of IP to creatives and MPs alike, while awarding great prizes to fresh, artistic talent.”

The competition enjoys widespread support from industry and is sponsored by 21st Century Fox, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), Lionsgate, The Motion Picture Association, Sky, Warner Bros and Viacom.

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