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Award winning filmmaker talks the importance of thinking local

Yorkshire-based filmmaker Kate Graham has been speaking about opportunities in film for people in the area after her short Scrum was selected for the BAFTA qualifying Leeds International Film Festival. 

Yorkshire Voice Actor Emma Wrightson in Scrum, written and directed by Kate Graham

Kate, who lives in Leeds with her family, achieved success last year with her short film Alice 404 which won Best British Short at London’s Last Frame Festival and is now on the virtual festival circuit with her new film Scrum which follows the relationship between a nervous mother and her rugby-loving daughter. 

Kate said: “I think there are so many stories that you can find in Yorkshire and Leeds and they’re just they’re not told enough on TV… it’s such an amazing place full of voices that deserve to be heard and preserved on screen.” 

Scrum was made as part of the BFI (British Film Institute)’s Film Hub North scheme which provides workshops and opportunities to northern based filmmakers to combat the industries often London heavy focus. 

The filmmaker said: “I think it’s always been in people’s minds that you have to do the work down south, you have to be near London but I think we’re proving now that this isn’t the case. There’s a lot of amazing parts of the country out there and it’s a lot cheaper to make stuff there as well.” 

Yorkshire Voice Actor Kelli Hollis on the set of Scrum, selected for the Leeds International Film Festival

The short was filmed in Leeds and stars local talent Kelli Hollis, known for Emmerdale and Shameless, and Emma Wrightson. 

On working with Hollis, Kate said: “I think she’s such an amazing actress, she’s got this earthiness to her because she’s got that really distinctive raspy voice that’s so lovely.  

“Kelli is a good example that there’s this pool of amazing talent in Yorkshire that doesn’t get used enough.” 

The film’s selection for the Leeds International Film Festival, which takes place online and in some local venues from 3-19 November, was especially important for the Scrum team. 

Kate said: “Aswell as just being where I live, it is such a good festival and is one of the top ones in the UK, especially for BAFTA qualification.” 

You can follow Kate Graham on her Twitter @kate_graham_ and find out more about Scrum at LIFF by heading to and looking for the short film category. 

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