AN AWARD-WINNING producer is set to embark on the making of a thought-provoking film about gun and knife crime and its consequences.
Hartlepool-born film-maker John Reck will be flying back to the UK from his home in Madrid, Spain, to begin the production process of Cops and Robbers.
The short film will be shot in Ireland and the former Hartlepool Borough Council worker hopes to attract big Irish names for the starring roles.
The dramatic film came about after John, 27, and Keith Mackin, who write, produce and direct their own films as part of Plato Films, were moved by real-life events.
They had heard about two brothers aged eight and 11 from Chicago who stumbled across their father’s revolver, which they used during a game of cops and robbers.
But the game led to tragedy when the younger brother shot the older brother and wounded him.
John, who teaches English and film practice to young adults in Spain, said: “We feel passionate about producing and promoting this cautionary tale that evokes the nostalgia of childhood and reveals the tragic nature of lost innocence.”
John, who left Bede College in Billingham in 2000, graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a film and media degree.
He then went on to work in the TV and film industry and along with Keith, had international success with debut film One Last Love Song, which won Best Cinematography 2009.
They also produced Six Minutes of Freedom, which starred Hollyoaks actor Nico Mirallegro and scooped the Best New Wave Directors 2010 award.
John, who attended Bewley Primary School and Billingham Campus School, still has family living in Billingham’s Northpark area, including parents Linda and Jim and sister Charlotte, 17, as well as grandparents Margaret and Fred Dowson, who live in Hartlepool.
He said: “Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to be a film maker.
“For years I’ve pursued my dream and with a lot of hard work, I feel like I have made some great achievements in my field.
“I know it’s a long way to star-studded Hollywood but I’m eager to build on my success.”
Shooting on Cops and Robbers starts in October but Plato Films needs to attract additional funding.
John said the cash will guarantee that the film goes ahead on time, to the best quality post-production standards to make it worthy of winning another international award.
The pair aim to raise £7,000 and any excess funds will go to the Ben Kinsella Trust, an anti-knife campaign set up after Ben Kinsella, brother of ex-Eastenders actress Brooke Kinsella, was murdered in 2008.
Plato Films has teamed up with the Indie Go Go website, which promotes the work of creative artists.
Anyone interested in contributing to the making of Cops and Robbers or viewing John’s previous films can click on the link at the bottom of this story on www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk