A FILM director has revealed exclusive images from his new project which was filmed in and stars children from East Lancashire.

Hundreds of youngsters applied for a role in Aaron Dunleavy’s short film ‘Strays’ after a casting call was made in the Lancashire Telegraph.

A joint initiative between Arts Council England and Channel 4, Strays was commissioned for Random Acts Network Centre North and is currently being shown at festivals up and down the country.

It has recently been acquired by Channel 4 and will showcased on the Random Acts website later this year.

Out of the 600 that applied 50, aged two to 16-years-old, were cast in the short which Mr Dunleavy describes as ‘Lord of the Flies set in Blackburn’.

The post-apocalyptic three-minute film was shot entirely in the Griffin area of Blackburn and tells the story of a dark and unsettling world in which children have taken over a forgotten terraced street, devoid of adults with no rules or boundaries.

Mr Dunleavy’s previous work has included short films Throw Me To The Dogs and The Truants which was praised by This is England director Shane Meadows.

Filmed over the Easter holidays, most of the children in Strays are from East Lancashire.

The 23-year-old from Blackburn said: “Like with stuff I have done previously it was about finding kids that have never acted before and getting them in front of a camera and getting them to improvise.

“It brings a rawness and a freshness to it. There is a natural element to it. I try and make it so it does not feel like a film set.”

The film focuses on one street in Blackburn which is taken over by children who have killed all the adults.

“They get up to some naughty stuff,” he said.

“Part of the process of coming up with idea was getting the kids together and asking what they would do if there were no adults around.

“It was really hectic. We filmed it over three days and some scenes had 12 children in them so we had to do all the costumes and make-up.

“I think they all had a lot of fun and could let their imaginations run wild.”

And Mr Dunleavy said he was impressed by the standard.

He said: “There are definitely a few faces I want to work with in the future.

“I’ve got a few local projects coming up and will be looking for more casts.”

It is currently on the festival circuit, recently achieving an official selection at the BAFTA and Oscar qualifying Encounters Short Film Festival in Bristol.

It is also touring the UK as part of the Random Acts Playback Festival and will finish at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.

A small selection of Random Acts films also go to broadcast.