Schoolboy’s film is praised by animator

Samuel and his card from Nick Park with mum Helen, left and Katie
Samuel and his card from Nick Park with mum Helen, left and Katie
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Schoolboy Samuel Rose can already boast being a celebrated film producer, thanks to the support of his occupational therapy team.

The nine-year-old, from St Leonards, who has dyslexia, dyspraxia and general co-ordination problems, was referred to East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Service, run by Kent Community Health NHS Trust, as his poor handwriting was affecting his school work and confidence.

With the support of Katie Harrison, senior paediatric occupational therapy assistant, he created a short animated film, which has been lauded by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park. Katie said: “When Samuel first came to us he had really low self-esteem and no confidence in his ability to make things. Samuel told me that he loved films and I told him that to be able to make an animated film he would have to write a plan first and this really encouraged him to practise his writing and explore his creativity.”

In just three months, Samuel created his one-minute masterpiece, The Fierce Knight, which follows a brave knight who battles an evil wizard and his dragons.

Unknown to Sam, therapist Katie sent his short film to Nick Park at Aardman Animation and to DreamWorks studio in America. Producers congratulated him on his great story and encouraged him to make more. Nick Park even sent him a handwritten postcard. Mum Helen said: “Samuel’s absolute passion is film. He really took to this project, making all his own props out of soup cartons and creating the models of his characters. I could see the difference it was making to his concentration and confidence.”

Samuel also visited a London film studio and presented his work to three of his school mates. He said: “I was quite nervous about showing it to them at first but they really liked it. They even stood up and clapped. I couldn’t believe it when I received the postcard. I was really amazed.”

To watch the film, visit YouTube and search for Kent Community Health NHS Trust Fierce Knight.