Meet the schoolgirl filmmaker and her canine camera star

Film star Bruno and director Hannah.
Film star Bruno and director Hannah.

Meet the budding young filmmaker who has turned the camera on her canine to create a mini movie.

Hannah Rollins, 14, from Cleadon, is the youngest to have submitted a film to this year’s Sunderland Shorts film festival.

Hannah and Bruno.

Hannah and Bruno.

The schoolgirl is balancing her love of filmmaking with her studies and, of course, spending time with the protagonist of the short film – six-year-old golden Labrador Bruno.

A Dog’s Best Friend is written, directed and edited by Hannah and gives viewers a glimpse into a day in the life of Bruno as he searches for his best friend in the fields near their home.

Hannah said: “I started going to Filmmaking at The Customs House about two and a half years ago and it’s really inspired my love for filmmaking."

Her skills improved so much that she was asked last summer to consider creating a movie for a competition.

She added: "I started thinking about different routes to take for the film and we talked about choosing a topic based on an interesting thing you own.

"That’s when I thought of Bruno. He may be six, but he still behaves likes a puppy and is really fun and playful, so I knew he could be the star of my film.”

Hannah – accompanied by her dad, John Rollins, as camera assistant and dog handler – filmed, directed and edited the short film using equipment loaned from the Customs House.

She added: “I’m now really looking forward to going to this year’s film festival. It will be good to meet other filmmakers and see their creations.

“At the moment, I don’t have any plans to study filmmaking but I will continue it as a hobby and I’m excited to see where it can take me.".

Festival organiser Anne Tye said: “We could barely believe it when we realised Hannah was just 14-years-old – she has such talent. I was so impressed by the quality of the film as well as the storyline, it’s original and fun to watch.

Hannah is one of around 40 students who have submitted films for Sunderland Shorts 2018

A Dog's Best Friend will be screened at a pre-event showcase of student and young people's short films on Wednesday, May 2, at the Peacock pub, just off Keel Square, Sunderland city centre from 6pm.

The festival itself runs from Thursday, May 3, to Saturday, May, 5, and for more information visit https://www.facebook.com/SunderlandShorts/