THE UK’s youngest film director wants to create the biggest Brighton film since Quadrophenia.

Elliot Hasler wants to remind residents about the “forgotten Brighton story” of the first British woman to swim the English Channel - Mercedes Gleitze in 1927.

The 18-year-old became the youngest director of a feature length film in the UK in 2017 when he released Charlie’s Letters - the story of his great-grandfather’s experiences in the Second World War. After its release, several reviews hailed him as “the next Spielberg”.

Two years on he is readying his cast - including Albion assistant manager Billy Reid - and crew to begin filming on a second venture.

Elliot said: “I have been making films for quite a while now. I was looking for a new project online clicking from link to link when I found this story.

“It’s about a Brighton woman, but unfortunately it seems the story has become largely forgotten.

“So it’s a big Brighton project which will hopefully remind people of it. I want it to be the next big film in the city since Quadrophenia.”

The young director has said he wants the film to be as big as cult Brighton film Quadrophenia, pointing out that this, too, was an indie production.

But the film has faced several challenges in the lead-up to filming, not least moulding lead actor Kirsten Callaghan, 26, into a Channel-crossing swimmer.

Elliot said that it was important for her to have the skill and technique to be able to swim across the channel and believes the actor has managed it in little more than three months.

Brighton resident Kirsten said: “I have been working with a swimming coach from Brighton Swimming Club for the last few months and they have been amazing.

“Luckily I really like swimming but I have found open water swimming is a completely different skill.

“I have been taking cold showers to get used to the temperature and have been swimming around the pier as well.”

Kirsten also said she related heavily to the character of Mercedes.

She said: “We are both Brighton residents and I like how independent she was. She always funded herself and I love that about her, and her perseverance. It wasn’t until her eighth attempt that she was able to complete the challenge.

“She was a working class typist who would work a five-and-a-half day week while training to be a swimmer.

“When she trained she would see homeless people and she knew that, if she could complete the Channel swim, she could use the profits to set up a home for them.”