Two schoolgirls made it to the semi-finals of a film festival.

Roedean pupils Lydia Furniss and Chaya Lynch were semi-finalists in the Paris International Short Festival in the Best Student category, which attracts thousands of entries each year.

The 14-year-old pair's short film, called Pumpkin Man, was the only film placed in the festival by entrants under 18.

And this was the first time they had entered into the competition.

Chaya said: “We were absolutely flabbergasted to make it to the final seven and be semi-finalists.

"It is our goal to become cinematographers, so this felt like a real achievement – especially since everyone else considered were adults."

Lydia, who lives in Hove, and Chaya, from Battle, decided to make their short film and enter the competition as part of their weekly enrichment sessions in school, and hope to build on their experience to become filmmakers. 

The Paris International Short Festival was created to recognize and promote new film makers around the world.

There are ten categories, from comedy shorts to horror shorts.

Lydia added: “We wanted to make a film about Halloween with a gothic, moody colour palette and we brainstormed ideas and background songs and then carved a massive pumpkin head.

"We took turns to act in and film the scenes and then we edited it and colour-graded it. It was amazing fun.” 

The students used an iPhone 13 Pro Max to shoot the film over the course of two days.

Deputy head Ross Barrand added: “It’s great that the girls were motivated to do this as part of our weekly timetabled lessons, encouraging pupils to look beyond their academic studies.

"We are really proud of them for having the initiative to research film festivals and competitions.

"We can’t wait to see what they do next.”