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Circle Eight’s Documentary ‘Out Of The Blue’ Wins Top Awards

Published on: 21 May, 2019
Updated on: 21 May, 2019

Guildford’s Circle Eight Film Group has won two of the top awards at the South East Region Film Festival.

Circle Eight’s picture editor John Myall, director Dawn Owers, and producer Malcolm Bridger, with their awards and certificates.

Held at the Oast Theatre, Tonbridge, Kent on May 11, Circle Eight won the festival’s top award – the South East Regional shield – for its film Out of the Blue, and also the Croydon Cup for the best documentary movie at the festival.

Hazel Banting, aged nine in one of her films.

Out of the Blue tells the life stories of Surrey couple Hazel and Peter Banting, who are now both in their nineties.

Peter Banting in his RAF Bomber Command uniform.

Before the Second World War, Hazel was a child film star, working at Shepperton Studios under her stage name of Hazel Ascot. At the time, she was often referred to as Britain’s answer to the American child star Shirley Temple.

Before retirement, Peter was an architect with the British War Graves Commission but during the Second World War he saw active service with RAF Bomber Command.

He was a member of the famous Pathfinders group.

In the 20-minute film, Hazel reminisces on camera about her unexpected rise to childhood film stardom with excerpts from her movies Stepping Toes and Talking Feet.  

Sitting beside her, Peter relives his dangerous wartime exploits on bombing raids over Germany as a bomb aimer in the nose cones of Lancaster aircraft.

Hazel and Peter Banting as they are today.

Members of Circle Eight, an amateur film and video and production group, say they feel that the success of the film is due to letting both Hazel and Peter chat informally about their extraordinary lives, while the cameras recorded their memories without any interruption.

There will be a chance for audiences to see Circle Eight’s Out of the Blue when it is shown along with other films by group at its Summer Festival show at Guildford’s Guildhall on Friday, July 19, commencing at 7.45pm.

 

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