A NEW short film by one of Britain’s most exciting young directors will begin shooting early next year.

Aaron Dunleavy’s The Truants, about two youngsters who skip class to embark on a dangerous adventure, will feature a northern cast and be entirely improvised.

The 21-year-old’s latest project comes after his previous film, Throw Me to the Dogs, won five awards and was screened at some of the most prestigious BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying festivals in the world.

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle and The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw were amongst those who heaped praise on the gritty drama, shot in a run-down area of Blackburn, Lancashire, on a shoestring budget last year.

Aaron, who is cutting his teeth at the University of the Arts in London, said: “I chose to go away and study but it was leaving home that made me realise which stories I want to tell, and that I want to come back to Blackburn to make films about my childhood.

“The Truants will unearth some of the town’s raw talent by giving local kids the chance to shine in my latest venture.

“Throw Me to the Dogs got plenty of international recognition and praise so the pressure is definitely on this time round, but I’m up for the challenge. I just want to get pre-production out of the way and back behind a camera in February.”

Aaron has no plans to meddle with a winning formula - using a cast of unknown actors and capturing their ‘natural and honest’ reactions as ad-libbed scenes unfold in front of the camera.

Two extras from Throw Me to the Dogs, Leo Halstead, 12, and Kallum Trueman, 13, both from Blackburn, will return to play the truants.

And Burnley actor Jack Hartley, 21, who previously played vicious and nerve-rattling bully Tez, is also set for another starring role.

Aaron, whose raw filmmaking style is inspired by English director Shane Meadows of This Is England fame, said: “I’m proud to be working with some of the most promising young actors and I can’t wait to help them showcase their amazing abilities.”

For more information about the film, or the upcoming Kickstarter campaign launched to help fund it, search for ‘The Truants’ on Facebook.