STUDENTS from three special schools across the region came together to screen work produced since the pandemic.

The East to West Film Festival saw Hexham Priory School, Thomas Bewick School and James Rennie School show their work to over 150 people at the Forum Cinema in Hexham.

All of the schools worked with the Haltwhistle Film Project.

Hexham Priory School created Howay Bella - a story about Bella, a robot-making dragon who goes to New York and has to be rescued. The film was a mixture of animation, special effects, and live action.

Haltwhistle Film project also shot a Making of... film which showed the many processes which had gone into the months-long project, and which allowed parents in particular to see the work and decision making by students which had taken place.

The CAF-Tourle Foundation granted funding for the project just before the pandemic.

The festival also featured an animated film made by FilmAble about bird flight, In A Flap, made for the Sill. FilmAble is a film production company run by and for people with learning disabilities within Haltwhistle Film Project.

Marc McKiernan, director of the Haltwhistle Film Project, said: “ This work shows the diversity of skills in special schools from North Sea to Irish Sea.

"Filmmaking and animation are excellent ways for young people to fulfil their potential, whatever their apparent ability. There's a role for anyone.”