Young filmmakers in St Albans and Harpenden have addressed issues of drug abuse and mental health in their latest entries for this year's Film Festival.

Pupils from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden and Fleetville School in St Albans are just two schools across the district who have entered into the Young Student Film category at the second St Albans Film Festival.

Hilary Greatorex, actress and the festival's schools' coordinator, said: "Last year, we had 60 entrants for the Young Student Film, which included applicants from Canada and the US. The winner was 12-year-old Oscar Simmonns, who is a pupil at Beaumont School.

"His short film 'Dog' was about a lonely old lady who befriends a toy dog. He went on to become the overall winner of last year's BFI Kids for Kids Award at the National Film Theatre in London for another film, 'A Spark', which he wrote, filmed and directed.

"We were incredibly lucky to find such a talent on our doorstep. He's hoping to make filmmaking his career, so he's well on his way."

"We want his story to inspire other young filmmakers like Oscar to enter - especially those from the local area."

Ms Greatorex is now keen to encourage school children with a passion for film to grab their phones, tablets or video cameras to put together a short film that they can enter into the of the second Film Festival, which takes place over the weekend of May 1 to May 4.

Schoolchildren can enter as an individual or a group or class from school, a club they attend such as a Brownies or Cubs group, or even a football or music group.

The deadline for entries to be sent in is March 1, and children will be in with a chance of winning a cash prize as well as seeing their film screened at the festival and attending the festivals’ red carpet awards ceremony.

Entrants must be aged between five and 15-years-old and the film must be edited and no longer than 20 minutes.

Forms are available at and films can be sent in on a DVD or USB.

Alternatively, films can be uploaded at or a link to the film with an entry form can be sent to