Movie starring Purbeck children wows audiences young and old

A FILM starring Purbeck children has gone on tour after a host of schools clamoured to screen it.

Let’s Go Wild was premiered at the recent Planet Purbeck Festival in front of a sell-out audience of 350 at Swanage’s Mowlem Theatre.

It was made by BBC and Netflix filmmaker Sue Western, who spent months asking scores of kids what they think about Purbeck’s abundant natural resources.

Along with a talk by Springwatch TV presenter Nadeem Perera, the film was the centrepiece of the festival’s main event, called A Celebration of Purbeck.

It was such a hit that several teachers asked if it could be shown at their schools.

Dates were arranged with all eight primary schools in the area, including Wareham St Mary and Swanage’s St Mark’s, with further showings anticipated at the Purbeck and Swanage schools for older children.

Young people from Purbeck were the stars of Let's Go Wild, which premiered at the Planet Purbeck Festival

Sue said: “It’s tempting just to post a film online but it has been immensely uplifting to watch it at communal events.

“I’ve found myself sitting in school halls with tea and cake alongside parents, staff and children of all ages who are seeing themselves, their siblings and friends on a big screen.

“The children’s expressions when they recognise themselves or places they know are priceless.”

The celebration event capped a record-breaking festival – Planet Purbeck’s third – which was attended by more than 3,400 people over 10 days.

More than 50 events were hosted by 90 local businesses, organisations or community groups, with funding support from the Talbot Village Trust.

A survey conducted by Planet Purbeck volunteers has since found that nearly 80 per cent of those who attended agreed with the statement: ‘I learned something new about protecting our local environment.’

More than half said they now felt more connected to the area’s nature and wildlife, while nearly 60 per cent said they felt inspired to take action.

Filmmaker Sue Western and Luke M Luke, of Planet Purbeck

Filmmaker Sue Western and Luke M Luke, of Planet Purbeck

Festival organiser Luke M Luke said he was “thrilled” by the reaction.

“Our festival clearly helps to ignite the magic and wonder of nature, creating enduring experiences and the chance to discover something new,” he said.

Buoyed by the success, Luke said Planet Purbeck’s next mission is to join a project in which a host of local organisations are planning events and experiences aimed at encouraging children and young people to enjoy and get involved with nature.

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