‘Lifetime’ experience for young Crawley film-maker

Alexandra Perity, 24, of Crawley (fourth from left) was selected from thousands of applicants nationwide in a highly sought after work experience placement with the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy. She submitted her work through the GoThinkBig initiative - Picture by Jon Furniss, 07710219616, jon@jonfurniss.com
Alexandra Perity, 24, of Crawley (fourth from left) was selected from thousands of applicants nationwide in a highly sought after work experience placement with the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy. She submitted her work through the GoThinkBig initiative - Picture by Jon Furniss, 07710219616, jon@jonfurniss.com

A young woman from Crawley was selected from thousands of applicants nationwide in a highly sought after work experience placement with the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy this summer.

Alexandra Perity, 24, landed a rare opportunity to be taught by leading industry experts and one of the producers of the critically acclaimed film Suffragette, Alison Owen.

She was also asked to create three short films in a small team which were later shown at a special screening of the historical period drama at the BFI London Film Festival in October.

Alexandra said: “When it came to the edit I felt a lot of pressure as I was responsible for the outcome of final film.

“I had seen everyone work really hard in pre-production and production and wanted to create the best possible film, but only had a day and a half to complete it.”

She added: “Having your film screened at one the most prestigious film festivals in the world, was a once in a life time opportunity.”

The former St Wilfrid’s Catholic School pupil was one of 24 winners who attended a week-long residential course in September at the BFI Film Academy and received expert training across various aspects of film creation, from directing to screen writing.

She was chosen for the opportunity after submitting her work through GoThinkBig, an O2 initiative that allows young people to get on the career ladder and allows them to gain invaluable skills.

Alexandra said: “One of the best parts of the experience was getting the chance to meet the other 23 filmmakers.

“I still keep in touch with the crew today and we continue to support each other’s work and hope to work together on another project soon.”

Tracey Herald, head of community at O2, said: “Film is a hugely popular industry for many young people, but it’s often hard to get a first break.

“We want to show young people that with the right opportunity, drive and determination, they can be successful in these tough industries.”

After graduating from Ravensbourne University, London, in 2014 Alexandra has been building her portfolio as a freelance editor, working on short films and documentaries while looking for a paid editor’s assistant role.

She said:”It’s extremely tough to prove yourself to future employers, there is a lot of competition and I have done a lot of free work, but it’s important to keep going and look for different opportunities to meet people and get work.”

GoThinkBig are an organisation that help young people, aged start their careers across a range of media platforms, such as film, radio and TV.

Visit www.gothinkbig.co.uk for more information.