|Young Liverpool filmmakers have fought off 800 entrants to win a top international award for their Jimmy McGovern-inspired movie.
Students from Croxteth Community Comprehensive fought off competition from 800 other film makes, including the company responsible for Wallace and Gromit (Aardman Animations), to scoop the international film prize.
They received top honours at the prestigious Chicago International Children's Film Festival for 'Escalating', a silent slapstick comedy. The film was named Best Child Produced Film.
Mentored by award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern, 12 students aged 14 and 15, wrote, directed and filmed their masterpiece in Liverpool.
The film follows a young man's rocky adventure along the path of true love.
Jimmy McGovern said: "I'm absolutely delighted and I'm proud to have been associated with the pupils. But I have to say that I'm not surprised.
"They worked really hard and their win is testimony to their creativity. It's amazing to think that they won first prize out of a shortlist of over 200 other films - some of them written and directed by professionals.
"This was their first time out. It's stunning really - I can't imagine winning an award like this at their age. It's a great sign of the potential for future writing and film making in Liverpool."
The City's Lord Mayor is to host a special reception for the students and Jimmy McGovern at Liverpool Town Hall on Friday, December 10.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Roderick described the students as "ambassadors for the city" and said that it was a remarkable achievement to win such a prestigious prize.
At Friday's ceremony, Councillor Roderick will re-present the Chicago Film Festival Globe to the students.
The film was made as part of Liverpool's Writing on the Wall Festival, a UK Film Council initiative to inspire creativity in young people.
Mike Morris from the festival said: "We were impressed by the quality of the films produced, and very proud Escalating went on to win this top award.
"Young people's talent is one of the reasons why Liverpool is Capital of Culture 2008. They need Festivals such as ours, to give them a platform to display their talents. We hope that the film, and the young people who created it, will go on to future success."
Following the student's success in Chicago, the film will be shown at Toronto's young filmmakers festival 'Sprockets' in April, at Australia's Children's Film Festival in June and also the Massachusetts 'Kids Best Fest' next year.