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Lisburn teen enjoys a taste of stardom

Holly (right) with Emma Dunseith Tri Media Producer, BBC NI Learning, Languages and Social Action.A LISBURN teenager got a taste of what it would be like to be a Hollywood movie star when she attended the premiere of the film 'Flukey Finn' last weekend.

17-year-old Holly Gault was one of the young actors who starred in the short film made by the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) and funded by First Light Movies, which was screened at Storm Cinemas in Belfast last Saturday night. Holly, a student at Lurgan College, didn't know she was deaf until she was three, when she was fitted with two hearing aids in both ears. "When I first got hearing aids I hated them," she said. "I would always take them out and put them in my soup or down the toilet. Well, that's what my mum says. After a while, I got used to them. "I only recently joined the NDCS and the first time I went with NDCS to do something was at the 'quick thinking' weekend in Derry. To me, that was the best weekend ever. That was when I first met deaf people in my life. I made some life lasting friendships and I even started to learn some sign language."

During the summer Holly, together with 12 other young people from throughout Northern Ireland, joined NDCS and BBC Blast to create and star in a film.

"Our film was called 'Flukey Finn'," explained Holly. "Flukey Finn is basically about a boy who is very unlucky, but soon his luck changes. In the film, I got a role of a mean girl called Sarah. This gave me a chance to experience what real life actresses/actors do. We even all had professionals like the acting coach and the camera crew. Some of the people that didn't want to act as much did the camera work and took part in shooting the scenes. The NDCS Film Project has basically opened up a whole new world to me. I have discovered that there are many other teenagers with a disability just like me who are getting on with life and living their dreams.

"The film project has opened so many doors for my life. It has given me the opportunity to become more confident to make friends. It has also given me the opportunity to fulfil an acting ambition and to be famous, even just for one day. The film project has changed my life, especially my social life. Before the NDCS film project I was a shy person. I also thought I couldn't become a actress because I am deaf but now I am a confident person and I have made some great friendships. I have also been setting dreams that I thought I could never pursue. Now I'm aiming high and fulfilling them. I realise that no-one can stop me, just because I'm deaf."

Ulster Star