It was lights, cameras and babes on parade at the Leapfrog Short Film Festival held at London Transport Museum last week.
We rolled up casual, in t-shirts and trainers, to find entire families kitted out in frocks, waistcoats and ties – right down to the pre-schoolers.
I did feel slightly less under-dressed when I saw kids’ TV legend Dave Benson Phillips, our host for the evening, working the room with shirt untucked and wisecracks overflowing.
The film festival screening was the culmination of the Leapfrog Leapster Explorer Short Film Contest, held in partnership with Netmums, which called for entries from kids around the country to make 1 minute films about family life.
Ten finalists were chosen and invited to the film festival premiere where the winner (Elliot Payne, 6, pictured with family) would receive their prize – a family holiday to Florida!
I was really impressed by the films sent in by children as young as 5, whose styles ranged from ‘high-octane blockbuster’ (Nathan Kosbab’s A Day at Chessington) to a more ‘handheld cinema verite’ quality (Maisie Price’s Castle Capers).
It’s amazing what they managed to capture in 60 seconds and I wouldn’t be surprised if Leapfrog had discovered a future Spielberg or Sofia Coppola among this brat pack.
The trio of judges – Dave Benson Phillips, Siobhan Freegard of Netmums and blogger Pippa Wright of A Mother’s Ramblings – had a tough call but picked Elliot Payne’s A Mini Day Out as the winning flick.
I thought it was sweet that all the kids got the star treatment with a buffet reception, big screen debut, goody bag and ‘paparazzi’ shots.
I wonder how many of these mini moviemakers got nibbled by the Hollywood bug?
Watch all the finalists’ entries on the Netmums Leapster page
**Catch up tomorrow for my interview with Dave Benson Phillips on the Leapfrog Film Competition, the state of kids’ TV and becoming a dad after years of trying.