MORE THAN 25 years after she left her old primary school film maker Serena Armitage returned to tell the children there today that their dreams can come true.
And she took her Oscar along with her to prove it.
The multi-award winning producer returned to Nun Monkton Foundation Primary School for the village fete.
And she received a hero’s welcome after having won an Academy Award in the Short Film Live Action category this year for producing Stutterer.
She was a pupil at the school in the village near York from 1985 to 1990.
Miss Armitage said: “I had five wonderful years at Nun Monkton School and it has been a privilege to return.
“I have been overwhelmed by the reaction from the school and the village, which has been humbling.
“I really hope my experience can inspire others and prove that even our wildest dreams can come true.”
During the day she spoke about her experiences as a film maker and shard insights about what it was like walk down the most famous red carpet in the world on Oscars night.
“It was a very special experience coming back to the village where I grew up with the Oscar.
“The village were celebrating their annual St Peter’s Day feast, so there was a carnival atmosphere. To be able to bring my Oscar and be part of that celebration meant an awful lot to me,” she said.
Parents and children from the school were delighted to see her and see a real Oscar trophy for themselves.
Parent Anna Gawthorp said: “This was a wonderful experience, which many of our children will remember for the rest of their lives. We were very honoured that Serena chose to share her success with us. We are very proud of her.”
Stutterer, the film which won the Oscar, tells a story about a man’s journey to find love through internet dating.
He has a speech impediment, but an eloquent inner voice. After falling in love on-line, he has to face his greatest fear – meeting and speaking to his new-found love in person. The film became a film festival hit this year, winning more than a dozen awards including the most prestigious honour on offer, the Oscar for best Live Action Short.
Miss Armitage was born in Nun Monkton, and grew up in Fadmoor, near Kirkbymoorside, before later moving to London, where she has worked for ITV for 10 years. The film was made on a budget of just £5,000. It was made with writer and director Benjamin Cleary and producer Shan Christopher Ogilvie.
Miss Armitage said: “We were absolutely astonished and overwhelmed by the success of Stutterer. The last six months have been absolutely extraordinary.
“I can’t believe this little project we were sitting around a dinner table talking about, maybe throwing a few grand into, went to Hollywood. It has been an absolutely insane journey. We were just delighted to get into the Aesethica Short Film Festival in York in November.Thanks to their support we won a Critic’s Circle Award and then we went and won an Oscars – it was very surreal and very humbling.
“We didn’t set out to make an award-winning film, just hopefully something that might get seen by a few people, but the response has been completely bonkers and I’m just thrilled that we’ve made something that resonates with its audience.”