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Move over Hitchcock – a Fulham teenager is on a roll

A Fulham student has reached the final of a national movie-making competition with a film using the borough as a backdrop.

Jake Pitcher’s short film Dear Diary packs as much tension into four and a half minutes as many thrillers manage in 90, despite having no dialogue.

It tells the story of a girl discovering an abandoned book beside the Thames at Fulham… before mysteriously starting to fade away.

A part of Jake’s A-level course, Dear Diary is one of the shortlisted finalists in this year’s MediaMag video competition – a contest which attracted 1,000 entries.

All five will be screened at the British Film Institute on 5 July, where a judging panel of industry professionals will pick the winner.

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Image caption: Image 2: Jake Pitcher

Jake, 18, who lives just off Fulham Palace Road, said he was chuffed to have been shortlisted, and was nervously awaiting the screening ceremony.

“Everyone knows what it’s like to feel neglected or invisible sometimes and I wanted to explore this in Dear Diary,” he explained. “The film is an allegory of isolation, the visual metaphor of fading away symbolising neglect.

“People can’t see her, and she feels unable to communicate with the world around her. I also wanted to create a creepy and unsettling vibe using the cursed book as the focus point, which makes her gradually more invisible until she just disappears.”

Jake shot the haunting Dear Diary along the riverside between Putney and Hammersmith bridges, and in Fulham Palace Gardens, at the 20-year-old memorial to H&F residents who fought with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

The director also makes a brief Hitchcockian appearance in a scene on a tube train.

Dear Diary stars budding actress Emily Glazebrook, 16, who grew up in Fulham, and Pepper, a border terrier. Jon Hopkins composed the music.

Jake has always loved film, and first went to the BFI to take part in a movie-making workshop when he was nine – and so impressed the organisers that he was promptly drafted on to a judging panel to adjudicate on youth films.

He now aims to study film production at the University of Westminster this autumn.

Check out Dear Diary by Jake Pitcher on Vimeo.

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Image caption: Image 3: Jake shot the haunting Dear Diary along the riverside between Putney and Hammersmith bridges