At just 18 Millie Hine is already a multi-award-winning screenwriter and director. She recently saw one of her films premiere in New York and is currently filming in the Ribble Valley
A young screenwriter and director is forging a big name for herself in the UK and internationally after her work premiered at a New York film festival and now she’s working on her next project.
Last October, Millie Hine jetted to the States where her film, the Snake and the Apple, was shown at one of the world’s biggest student film festivals.
“Before I submitted the film, I thought wouldn’t it be amazing if I was chosen. I genuinely didn’t think the film would get selected – it was all very last minute. I’d been selected and even won at other festivals before, but I wasn’t as hopeful about this one. I hadn’t finished editing it as the submission deadline approached, but my friends were really supportive and encouraged me to carry on,” recalls Millie, who stayed up until three in the morning completing the task.
“When it approached midnight, I thought I’d missed the deadline, then I realised I was working on UK time!”
A long wait was to follow, by which time Millie didn’t hold out much hope as there were 4,000 entries worldwide: “When I found out it had been chosen, I was so excited!”
Receiving her invitation to the official festival ceremony in New York was definitely the highlight of the year for Millie, who flew to New York with one of the actresses from her film: “There was a yacht party on the Hudson River, which we went to. We saw the Statue of Liberty – it was fantastic!
“We then watched the film premiere in Times Square,” says Millie, who is currently taking a gap year to focus on her filmmaking after studying for her A levels in English Literature, Maths and History.
As the writer, producer, director and the person who carries out post-production editing, as well as sourcing actors and crew, Millie loves what she does and is currently filming her latest film, Street Art, in Longridge using Longridge Gallery as a backdrop.
“The team at the gallery have been amazing!” she says.
“Without giving too much away it’s about an artist and how the pressure she puts herself under is making her unhappy and how she comes to understand how happiness itself represents success.”
Something of an experiment, Street Art doesn’t feature any dialogue, which is something Millie has always wanted to try: “The feedback on my dialogue has always been good, so as a challenge I decided to take out the dialogue completely from the film. I can’t wait to get started with this next project. I’m hoping it’ll push me, but it’s always rewarding to see something that started out as a very personal story, become something real in front of you, and then something that you can share with others.”
Millie has joined forces in a collaboration with a talented young musician who is composing a musical score as a backdrop: “I am working with an LA composer – he contacted me out of the blue on social media and we clicked immediately, we really saw eye to eye on the film.
“He had seen what we were doing online and asked if I would be interested in him writing some music for the film. As Street Art has no dialogue the music will piece it all together and he is very aware of that. When he sent over some of the music he had composed for the film, it gave me goosebumps!”
Having had an interest in film making from a young age, Lancashire-born Millie, who has won numerous awards since she was 14, began filmmaking while she was still at school: “The first real ‘short’ I made was based on a book we were studying when I was 12,” she recalls.
From there Millie went on to develop her writing and engaged with young film makers and actors throughout the UK, using social media to gather teams together.
Having recently completed work experience shadowing a director on Season Three of TV’s the Mallorca Files, Millie is more confident than ever of pursuing a professional career in film making: “I had been to Preston Arts Festival, which had picked up the Snake and the Apple. I love the networking side to the film industry and I asked around for work experience. Someone put me in touch with a director on the Mallorca Files, who contacted me and suggested I fly out there for a couple of days.
“I shadowed him and ended up staying for three days – which was an amazing experience in terms of learning exactly how the professionals work.
“It was extremely useful seeing all the different elements of shooting the scenes and how different they look on screen – it really sets the bar high.
“It was also good to understand set etiquette and the way people treat each other. It’s all very friendly and there’s a genuine buzz around the filming.”
At 18, Millie is optimistic about the future. “I’m trying to get to as many film festivals as possible and grow my portfolio as much as I can. Experiences like New York are exciting but they’re also reassuring. It was a good point in my film-making journey where I was able to stop and think, ‘Just keep on doing what you’re doing.’ I hope Street Art can be another point in that journey.
“The quote from Steven Spielberg about following your dreams, is very special to me. He said, ‘Be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. It very rarely shouts. And if you can listen to the whisper … and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do.’ I love that quote and I find it really inspires me to keep doing what I love doing most!”