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Film shot on Acle Straight entered for The Oscars

PUBLISHED: 14:21 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 11 October 2019

Maisie Prendergast stars in Sylvia short film which has qualified for The Oscars 2020 and was shot in Norfolk Credit: Sylvia Film

Maisie Prendergast stars in Sylvia short film which has qualified for The Oscars 2020 and was shot in Norfolk Credit: Sylvia Film

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A couple from Old Catton are putting Norfolk on the map as their new film Sylvia rooted in the county qualifies for The Oscars.

Sylvia tells the true story of Sabrina Archey who was forced to sell her car after tragic events unfolded in her life and left a note to the new owner Credit: Sylvia FilmSylvia tells the true story of Sabrina Archey who was forced to sell her car after tragic events unfolded in her life and left a note to the new owner Credit: Sylvia Film

Richard and Rachel Prendergast run production company SubMotion in Norwich making advertising videos, but last year decided to "take the step into narrative film".

The pair were looking for a true story to dramatise and Richard came across the story of a man named Kevin Duke, from Kentucky in the US, who bought a car and found a note inside detailing the tragic events in the life of the previous owner.

Kevin posted the note on Facebook, which was shared thousands of times, and managed to track down original owner Sabrina Archey and reunited the car with her.

The 17-minute short film was finished in August last year has now screened at 28 festivals around the world and won nine awards including Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sisters Maise and Evie Prendergast star in Sylvia which has qualified for The Oscars Credit: Sylvia FilmSisters Maise and Evie Prendergast star in Sylvia which has qualified for The Oscars Credit: Sylvia Film

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It now automatically qualifies for The Oscars 2020, after being picked as one of 10 films to be shown worldwide at The Manhattan Short Festival.

The film was shot mainly along the Acle Straight, between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, with driving scenes also in Old Catton and the house used is in Newton St Faith.

Mrs Prendergast, 35, said: "Last year we decided to take the step into narrative film and Richard came across the heart-wrenching true story of Sabrina Archey and asked permission to turn it into a film.

Richard and Rachel Prendergast at Cannes Film Festiva celebrating success of Sylvia which has now qualfied for The Oscarsl Credit: SuppliedRichard and Rachel Prendergast at Cannes Film Festiva celebrating success of Sylvia which has now qualfied for The Oscarsl Credit: Supplied

"Without giving too much away, it gives us a hard reminder to love everyday as it could all be gone.

"It stirs up a lot of emotion and people have reached out all over the world to tell us how it touched them.

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"At the heart of the film is my family - my husband who wrote and directed the film, I produced it and my two children Maisie and Evie acted in it."

Sylvia was shot across Norfolk in locations including the Acle Straight, Old Catton and Newton St Faiths Credit: Sylvia FilmSylvia was shot across Norfolk in locations including the Acle Straight, Old Catton and Newton St Faiths Credit: Sylvia Film

The Oscars shortlist will be released in December and the couple are currently developing their first feature film.

Mrs Prendergast added: "It is phenomenal and an incredible feeling that we have made something Oscar-worthy, whether we get shortlisted or not."

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