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A short film written and directed by a former Hounslow student has secured screenings at four festivals in the UK and US.

Trouble was helmed by 18-year-old Ben Steel, who lives in South Acton and completed his sixth form studies at Chiswick School and Kingsley Academy last year. The cast and crew were recruited from Hounslow schools and it was shot amid the tower blocks of Isleworth's Ivybridge estate.

The gritty thriller follows a young man thirsty for revenge against his late sister's gang member boyfriend whom he blames for her death from a drug overdose.

It has already featured at the London Short Film Festival and the Student Filmmaker Awards Film Festival in Utah, as well as at the Reality Bytes Film Festival in Illinois on April 15, and at this May's NOFi festival in Los Angeles.

Mr Steel, who is now studying film production at Arts University Bournemouth, said: "Making this film was easily one of the most enjoyable, thrilling and educational experiences I've ever had.

"The outcome is priceless and has been the gateway to other more recent successes. On top of this, the connections I have made – vital in this industry – are contacts for life."

Mr Steel set his sights on entering the industry after joining the film club at Southfield Primary School, in Chiswick. He is now working on a short sci-fi horror film as part of his university course, and he lists the directors Shane Meadows and Quentin Tarantino as two of his big screen heroes.

Ben Steel, the writer and director of short film Trouble

He won the chance to make the film last summer through the Spark! Young Filmmakers Competition, now in its third year, and the project was funded by Hounslow Council and Sky Academy.

The annual competition is run by Spark! - a Brentford-based charity which works with businesses and education providers to prepare young people for working life - with support from Richie Rich Productions, Green Banana Marketing, Watermans and West Thames College. It is open exclusively to young people living or studying in the borough of Hounslow.

Sky Academy director Bella Vuillermoz said he had been hugely impressed by Trouble's young director, and Spark! director Andrew Dakers said the film showcased the "fantastic young talent" in the area.

Chiswick School headteacher Tony Ryan praised his former pupil's dedication, saying: "He found school difficult at times but dug in and followed his dream to become a writer/director.

"His success here proves what can be achieved through a combination of talent, dedication and hard work. This is not the last we will hear from Ben, I am sure."

Young people keen on getting involved in next year's production should email