Filmmaker’s starring role

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A multi-talented former Dunstable student has wowed film festivals around the world with a short feature he wrote, directed and starred in.

Eric Kolelas’s film Fifty Pence is the dramatic and mysterious story of a young man working for Parisian gangsters escorting a girl through the French capital.

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He told the Gazette: “I think the main message of the film is in the tagline, ‘No matter how much you win or lose, always leave with something you came with’.

“We go through life and in our experiences and relationships there are a lot of changes. I wanted to send the message to stay true to who you were – the original you.

“More importantly, I wanted to make a film that didn’t spoon-feed the audience. I originally wrote it with no dialogue.

“I just wanted to show the characters going through something – a dilemma they have to solve.”

The former Manshead School pupil caught the acting and filmmaking bug while studying for a media studies A-level. He went on to read video production at Thames Valley University in London.

After shooting Fifty Pence with a cast and crew assembled from video-sharing website Vimeo, Eric set about promoting his new film.

He said: “I went down to Leicester Square and handed out flyers outside film premieres.

“I had 15-20 rejections from film festivals before the London Short Film Festival, and I started to think ‘my film is not good enough, I’ve wasted my time and money’.”

Eric, 26, also recently used Houghton Regis for the setting of a post-apocalyptic science fiction film.

The film is now in post-production, but perfectionist Eric said he will only release it if he is 100 per cent happy with it. Watch this space!

To watch Fifty Pence in full, visit