Thamesmead Festival 2016 saw the premier of Budgie - a short film about, childhood, friendship and growing up, set in Thamesmead and starring local young talent.




Budgie was born out of a series of improvisation workshops at The Link Thamesmead with local director James Slater and a cast of children with no previous acting experience. The film was shot in Thamesmead over two days in late August.

The cast were even invited to a red carpet premiere and mini-Oscar award ceremony in front of an audience of hundreds at an open air cinema at Southmere Square.

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The cast of Budgie: L-R Callum Daly (10), Deborah Ogunade (9), Yinka Oketokoun (12) , Abiodun Oketokoun (8), Demi Olonnsola-Elias (13), Temi Olonnsola-Elias (10), Tomi Olonnsola-Elias (8), Jessica Essian (11), Joshua Essian (10)

Budgie Director James Slater, best known for directing music videos for the likes of The Kaiser Chiefs and Mark Owen, said:
“The intention with Budgie was to make a film to a professional standard. We wanted to make something that had integrity that could have a life beyond the festival and I think we achieved that.

We employed a professional highly experienced crew who enabled us to capture some beautiful images of the cast as they engaged with the story and their local environment.”

One of the actors, Mia Millen (aged 8) said:
“I never thought I would get to see my face on a cinema screen! I loved everything about it.”