Award-Winning Film Makes Web Debut

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A short film made for just £60 which won Best Drama at the 2004 New York Independent Film Festival makes its online debut. The shocking movie about a young boy who decides to kill his abusive mother, is available free from their website

In April of 2004, independent film-makers Tony Hailstone and Lee Slater travelled across the Atlantic to screen their little-known short film "Pete" at a top New York film festival.

The film, made for just £60 and without any previous experience or training and a crew of just six (including the actors), won a top prize at the New York Independent Film & video Festival taking the trophy for Best Drama out of over 300 other entries.

"Pete", a dark thriller about a young boy who decides to kill his abusive mother, was written and directed by Tony Hailstone and co-produced with his best friend Lee Slater - both of whom worked at their local cinema for many years.

Working on a cinema wage, they knew they had virtually no money to work with so they put ads in the local newspaper looking for "free talented actors" - much to their surprise the response was overwhelming.

The crew consisted of friends from the same cinema they were working (and still work) at. And of course, none of them were paid a penny.

The short film was shot in a matter of days but was carefully edited over several months by Tony.

When the film was first screened to local press and media contacts, they were simply blown-away by the power of the movie as they had very low expectations due to the budget of the project. One company was quoted as saying the short looked like tens of thousands of pounds had been spent on it.

"Pete" has now been made available for download free-of-charge on their company website

As well as downloading "Pete" and two of their other short films "Moving In" and "The Last Hope", budding film-makers can also find lots of tips and tricks for making their own movies.

"The site is very much a work-in-progress" said Tony "but hopefully wannabe film-makers can take a look at our sites humourous and honest advice and start building their own movie career from the ground up".

Currently Tony and Slater are in pre-production of a feature film for which they are looking for funding which they hope to film this summer.

Anyone wishing to make a donation or would wish to help in any way are requested to send an email to

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Tony Hailstone