A WINTERBURN sheepdog handler and breeder has been given a posthumous award for best performance in a short film project.

Amos Dewhurst played the part of Francis in Milethia Thomas’ short film project: Francis of Fell End Farm, which was itself one of the segments in the world’s biggest narrative feature film called The Impact.

It premiered in London on May 31 and set a new world record for the most screenwriters on a feature film.

Milethia, who wrote and directed her script, said she was excited to be part of the feature film and shared a credit with the highest paid screenwriter ever, Joe Eszterhas, for Basic Instinct and Flashdance.

Before Covid struck, The London Screenwriters’ Festival, the world’s foremost festival for screenwriters, launched a screenwriting competition to find 50 brilliant two-page scripts about an apocalyptic meteor strike.

The intention was to create an extraordinary tapestry of stories about how humanity would face a catastrophic global event.

Little did Milethia know how prophetic the project and film would turn out to be.

Having received nearly 3,000 entries, competition was high and only the best made it through to the final 50, including Milethia’s script Francis of Fell End Farm.

“These scripts have since been produced by an eclectic array of filmmakers from around the world, a process which has resulted in 87 short films being made,” she explained.

“A portion of each film is included in the final cut of The Impact, with 37 of the best films featured in their entirety.”

Milethia went on a rewarding journey with Sheffield-based LTBL Productions (now ENON Films) to direct and film her script. She found the perfect actor in Amos Dewhurst after seeing him on Our Dancing Town, a BBC documentary series. In the series, Amos was part of a crowd of people who turned out in Skipton in 2016 to take part in a mass, professionally choreographed dance to celebrate Skipton’s heritage.

In Francis of Fell End Farm, Amos inhabited the central character and had a magical on-screen rapport with his own dog Gwyn.

Amos’s professional attitude and commitment ensured that filming was a smooth and memorable process.

Sadly, Amos, who was formerly of Lothersdale, died in 2019, aged 65, but his son, Steven, and daughter, Ali, were honoured to receive his award for best performance.

Milethia added: “Amos engaged with the whole process. I feel privileged to have known and worked with such a down-to-earth, supportive and friendly man; without him, the film would not have been possible.”

Amos’ wife, Kath, and family attended the premiere to see Amos on the big screen.

Kath said: “I just remember how much he enjoyed doing it and being a part of something so huge, totally different from his normal life, but loved seeing how the whole process worked.”

The Impact premiered at the Genesis Cinema in London. Simultaneous screenings were scheduled to take place around the world in places such as California, Kansas, Kentucky, Washington, Texas, Australia, Zurich, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Canada, Tel Aviv, Columbia and the Philippines.

Crowdsourcing the funding to make the films was a challenge, but, as Chris Jones, director of The London Screenwriters’ Festival explained, the point was to get writers writing and filmmakers making films.

“We wanted screenwriters and filmmakers, both new and established, to actively participate in this project with us.

“It was a great opportunity for those looking to gain their first feature credit, or those who see the value in a collaborative film project such as this, to come together and get something made, all the while being recognised for their work,” he said.

The writers and directors of The Impact gathered on May 31 to witness and celebrate the film breaking two world records – the most screenwriters on a feature film, as well as the most directors.

The Impact is a crowd-created feature film with multiple stories connected by one thing – a meteor strike.

The film opens with the President of America, Olivia Williams, giving a televised speech to the world – written by Joe Eszterhas – where she sets out the premise of the movie.

The movie poses the question: what would you do if you knew that you only had two hours to live? This question was answered by thousands of screenwriters who wrote short scripts that were filmed and edited together to create The Impact.

The film is a fascinating tapestry of interwoven stories from diverse voices around the world, at times moving and profound, at others hilarious and irreverent, but always asking ‘what would we do in our final moments?’.

A multi-cultural and global reflection of pop culture’s vision of the apocalypse… written and filmed before the actual Covid apocalypse of 2020, and now offering a haunting reflection of where we may be headed as a species.

The London Screenwriters’ Festival is regarded as the world’s foremost festival for screenwriters.

In its tenth year, it caters to upcoming screenwriters, as well as those more established in their careers. The London Screenwriters’ Festival is committed to creating opportunities for screenwriters to showcase their talent and abilities.

The next festival will run in 2023.