A YOUNG filmmaker is hoping to educate people about a historical figure time seems to have forgotten.

Elliot Hasler, 18, from Brighton wants to make a film about the first woman to swim the British Channel, in 1927.

That woman is Mercedes Gleitze.

She was a professional swimmer from Brighton who, as well as completing her historic Channel swim, became the first person to swim the Strait of Gibraltar.

Despite her impressive achievements, Elliot wants to make this feature picture because he believes she is a character locals may not know much about.

He said: “I thought it was a great story.

“I was online and got sucked into this article about her so I researched her and got to know her story.

“For a Brighton woman to be the first English woman to swim the Channel is an incredible accomplishment.”

“It’s a great local story.”

The film, which Elliot plans to call Vindication Swim, is still in the early production stages.

And as a young filmmaker Elliot is asking for a helping hand in bringing the piece to life.

His main hope is that the people of Brighton will come together and help him make this dream a reality.

He said: “I want the Brighton people to come together and help tell this story.

“We want to be shooting over the next couple of years.

“We’ll need extras and help from people who have period clothes, cars and even more.

“I’d love donations of any size.

“Even if people put in £20 each that will all build up and be a help.

“It would be great if they could lend what they can to the production.”

Elliot is hoping to show the film as part of Brighton Fringe and, following that, on local television as well.

He says Brighton’s history with film and the passion locals show for it is what has driven him to make this piece.

He said “Brighton’s a brilliant place for film and creative endeavours and this is a chance for people to come together.

“People in Brighton are really proud of films like Quadrophenia.

“So I want this to be the most exciting project since Quadrophenia.”

This will not be the first feature-length film that Elliot, who is currently studying history at the University of Exeter, has made.

When he was 16 he created a film called Charlie’s Letter, a wartime story based on the real-life tales of his grandfather.

The film covered letters his grandad sent home from the front during the war, and received critical acclaim when it debuted in Brighton Fringe.

Speaking of his first release Elliot said: “You make a film because you love it buts it’s nice when the reaction is what you had in mind when you imagined people seeing it.”

To help Elliot’s dream become reality and donate to the Vindication Swim project visit www.relsahproductions.co.uk