“I began making Charlie’s Letters when I was 13 though so in some ways it feels like it’s been a long time coming.”
WHO: Elliott Hasler, Writer, director and lead
WHAT: “An escaped POW’s battle for survival whilst on the run in war-torn Italy, as his wife and son wait for news in England. 16-year-old aspiring director Elliott Hasler’s epic depiction of his great-grandfather’s WWII experiences. Meticulously researched and undergoing production for almost three years, across five countries with scenes filmed around Brighton. The film acts as a testament to the incredible spirit that emerged through the hardships and horrors of the world’s greatest conflict, portraying the human story of an ordinary soldier forced to do the extraordinary. British Film Director – Elliott Hasler, The Next Generation Relsah Productions.”
WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
WHEN: 20:00 (100 min)
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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
Yes, and I can’t believe I’m here, it’s not a bad way to celebrate turning 17. I began making Charlie’s Letters when I was 13 though so in some ways it feels like it’s been a long time coming.
Tell us about your show.
I wrote, directed and star in Charlie’s Letters – along with an incredible cast. It’s based on the experiences of my great-grandfather Charlie during WW2. After being freed from an Italian POW camp, Charlie spent 18 months evading Germans, living with peasants and fighting with the underground resistance as he tried to get home to his wife and young son – my grandfather – in England.
Unfortunately Charlie died a year before I was born, but I think the film does him justice. I’ve been geekily obsessed with films since I was 10 and I knew his story would work brilliantly.
The film premiered at this year’s Brighton Fringe where it enjoyed a sell-out, extended run. Off the back of that I’ve been invited to show Charlie’s Letters on Brighton beach’s Big Screen in August and Camden Roundhouse has also invited me to screen Refuge, a short film I’ve just made, as part of its And Now What? festival in October.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
It has to be my fellow Brightonians Kids With Beards – a silly and surreal sketch troupe. They won the Audience Choice Award at Brighton Fringe this year so definitely worth a look.
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