FILM premieres do not come to Slough very often, but on Saturday, April 22 one with a difference was showcased in the town centre – made up entirely of child actors.
Amateur filmmaker and father of five, Bobby Kalia, teamed up with a group of parents more than a year ago and decided to make a fan’s Star Wars film for fun.
The short 30-minute film, Star Wars: The Force Arises, was premiered in a private viewing at the Empire Cinema in the Queensmere shopping centre.
Mr Kalia, a big Star Wars fan who was born in Slough, shot the film over the course of a year with the ten child actors, five of whom are his own kids, and had assistance from other parents.
Mr Kalia, 45, now of Englefield Green, is a regular businessman and in his spare time edited the film at home.
He said: “The parents were really excited at the premiere. Everyone came suited and booted. Most people hear you are making a film and they don’t expect the special effects to be anything spectacular. I think people were pleasantly surprised – you don’t need a studio to edit video these days.”
The film follows characters similar to those in the original Star Wars films, with different names and a unique storyline which took the children from Windsor Great Park to the Magna Carta monument in Runnymede for the filming as they searched for a mystical crystal. And instead of Darth Vader there was Darth Ren and Darth Zara – and of course stormtroopers. The oldest actor of the bunch was a boy from Iver, aged just 12.
At the premiere in screen 10 of the cinema, Mr Kalia was able to give the children the full red-carpet treatment as they strolled through a reception area in their best clothes, including bow ties for the boys.
He said: “We decided to do a premiere event to let the kids experience walking on the red-carpet and enjoy themselves.”
Mr Kalia is now looking to make his first independent, adult film based on his experiences of growing up in Slough.