Ipswich-born filmmaker Jimmy Dean talks gender during a screening of Offside at Copleston Sixth Form

Ipswich filmmaker Jimmy Dean (centre) visits sixth form students at Copleston High School. Picture:

Ipswich filmmaker Jimmy Dean (centre) visits sixth form students at Copleston High School. Picture: Darren Meitiner-Harvey - Credit: Darren Meitiner-Harvey

An up-and-coming filmmaker returned to his home town of Ipswich today to inspire young talent to follow a career in the arts.

Jimmy Dean, who is 23 and is enjoying worldwide recognition for his work, spoke to sixth form students at Copleston High School about his latest release, Offside.

The former Kesgrave High School and Sixth Form pupil said: “I feel so strongly about getting young people into film.

“Filmmaking as a career may not be made accessible, so it’s great to come back to Ipswich and engage with students and encourage them to do more on screen.”

Offside, which is Jimmy’s second release, is a coming-of-age movie about 11-year-old Kirsty, who struggles to accept her emerging womanhood as she learns that she will soon lose her place on the local boys’ football team.

It won the XX Award for best female protagonist.

“We don’t think there’s enough British films about young women and girls,” Jimmy added.

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“The fact that anyone has wanted to watch it never ceases to get me. We make films because we want to tell stories, and if anyone gets emotional connections out of it, then great.”

The AS Level film and media learners were treated to a screening of Offside followed by a question and answer session with Jimmy.

One pupil said she found it refreshing to see the film openly talking about a young girl starting her period, which is rarely done in the mainstream media.

Jimmy said: “We don’t want to shy away from it, there’s nothing wrong with what happens and it’s so nice to be able to show the film to schools.”

Speaking after the workshop, student Fin Nightingale, 17, said: “I found it really interesting.

“I always think of Ipswich as not a very nice place, it seems hard to make something of yourself if you come from here.

“But it was an inspiration because he [Jimmy] has made it somewhere.”

Jimmy’s visit was arranged by Into Film as part of its Behind-The-Scenes programme, which enables schoolchildren to speak to a creative professional in a bid to raise aspirations and offer information about potential career paths.

Darren Meitiner-Harvey, head of media and film at Copleston, said there were lots of girls studying film at the sixth form so it was great to be able to explore Offside, which features positive gender representation.

To find out more about Into Film, see here or call: 03303137600.

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