Film based on shocking murder of vulnerable Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson selected for Raindance Film Festival

A film based on the shocking murder of vulnerable Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson is to be shown for the first time at an upcoming festival.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 16:23 pm
Angela Wrightson

Angela, 39, was brutally attacked and killed in her home in Stephen Street in 2014 by two teenage girls who were aged just 13 and 14 at the time.

The crime, which shocked the nation, has been used as inspiration for the film entitled Like, which director Michael Frank says is a fictional exploration of the real case and raises questions about the influence of social media on teenagers’ behaviour.

Flowers outside the home of Angela Wrightson

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It follows the toxic friendship between 13-year-old Polly, played by Rebecca McDiarmid, and 14-year-old Kelsey, played by Brodie Young, and explores how teenagers’ online activities often affect how they are viewed by their friends.

Like has been selected from 10,000 film entries for this year’s Raindance Film Festival and will be screened in London’s West End on September 24 and 25.

Scenes in the film were completely improvised and shot entirely by the teenage actors themselves using mobile phones.

Frank said previously: “The approach to making this film is unlike anything I have ever undertaken before.

“The intention was to create an unusual film experience where the audience actually believes they are watching selfie videos the lead characters have filmed and posted online themselves.

“By giving the actors a great deal of control over how they performed and shot the unscripted scenes, they managed to create a unique tone of authenticity and realism.”

Angela led a chaotic lifestyle and was taken advantage of by visitors to her home who used it to drink.

She was described as a “kind, trusting, decent woman” who was vulnerable in drink.

Jailing the girls at Leeds Crown Court in 2016 the judge, Mr Justice Globe, said the teenagers, who can’t be named, had acted together in “a cowardly attack”.

Now in its 27th year, the Raindance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the UK attracting 16,000 people including those from the film industry.