Harry Potter and Game of Thrones star Natalia Tena swapped her normal big budget movies to star in a short film at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham.

Natalia, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the blockbuster Harry Potter series, is taking up the role of a stand-up comedian for a unique double-film production for UCA called I am Maddy Burns / The One and Only.

 The experimental films will be edited together as a short for the festival circuit but will play simultaneously on different projectors at gallery installations.

The film is being made by academics, students and graduates from UCA, as part of a research project commissioned by UCA Farnham’s Digital Film & Screen Arts course and funded by the University’s Research and Enterprise Department.

It was shot over two days at the end of June in the University’s specialist film studio and will be edited using UCA’s industry-standard facilities.

As a research film, the production has been given hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of the very latest industry technology to use for free by motion picture specialists Arri, Panavision and 4K London.

The majority of key creative personnel on the project are UCA academics who have all made international award-winning films and still work in the industry.

Director Nigel Bristow has made several major TV dramas and short films, including Everybody’s Gone and Unsound; cinematographer Noski Deville, has worked with major visual artists, such as Isaac Julien and Steve McQueen; post production will be overseen by Stephen Littman (Rewind Project/Video Positive Festival) and Visual Effects Editor Simon Allmark, who has worked on major blockbusters including Cloverfield, The Soloist and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Industry professionals, such as Mick Ward who was assistant director on Snatch, Moon and How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, are also giving his time for a nominal fee.

“Not only were we given the very latest technology – which would be well out of our budget even to rent – for free but graduates, who now work on blockbusters like the latest James Bond film, are working for food and travel expenses because they want to come back to UCA and work with their tutors. Natalia Tena and major names in the industry have got on board because they want to work with Nigel Bristow and Noski Deville. It’s simply unbelievable.”

UCA has a rich film heritage – four graduates have won Oscars and many more have picked up BAFTA Awards.

Monsters director Gareth Edwards, who graduated from UCA Farnham in 1996, is set to direct a big-money remake of Godzilla for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.

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