Director’s film to debut at Hawth

Crawley man Callum Johnson's film to screen at The Hawth. Pic Steve Robards  SR1608426 SUS-160315-111036001
Crawley man Callum Johnson's film to screen at The Hawth. Pic Steve Robards SR1608426 SUS-160315-111036001

A Crawley man’s film about honour killing will screen at The Hawth Theatre after four years’ of work.

The Forbidden Note by Callum Johnston, 24, of Gossops Green, will have its first screening on April 30 after it featured in the internationally respected Cannes Film Festival 2015.

Callum, who caught a ‘bug’ for script-writing at Ifield Community College, invited townsfolk to celebrate the night with him and his 80-strong team.

He said: “I’m excited because it’s been a long project now.

“A lot of people have known about it for a while and the expectations are a bit higher.

“I’m sure it should be an exciting evening and we are confident the film is at a great quality.”

Callum finished writing the Forbidden Note in 2012. He said he used most of his earnings to fund making it, adding he worked an average of 15 hours every day.

His latest independent film, which was delayed by a legal fight over a previous film in 2013, features an unlikely couple seeing past a religious divide while being controlled by relatives and members of an organised crime gang.

Callum was inspired by youth knife crime deaths in London to write his first film, RH11, when he was 16. It was also shown at the Hawth.

He joined the New York Film Academy after but said he left within months to follow his artistic interests.

He worked with Crawley Borough Council, mosques and the Home Office to write and direct Cross Paths, which was hoped to raise awareness about extremism and radicalisation.

Callum wrote Little District, a sequel to RH11, which became his first film to be shown at the Cannes festival before he was inspired to write The Forbidden Note.

Crawley friends and family who helped him create RH11 asked him to write Little District. He said the experience showed him ‘talent can only get you so far because you need some money to back you up’. He added: “Coming back from Cannes, I wanted to write something that was more me and go back to the first film that I done and that was films that brought awareness and had a point.” He raised concerns over society’s lack of community values. He said: “If you don’t even know who your neighbour is - how can you respect and appreciate people’s religion, sexuality, or ethnicity?” The Forbidden Note will be shown at 8pm.

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