Derby schoolboy, 13, wins award for horror film role

Tom Cross

Tom Cross won an award for his role in a horror film

A 13-year-old boy has won an international award for his leading role in a short horror film.

Tom Cross, who is a pupil at Derby Grammar School, was named best young actor at the Independent Shorts Awards in Los Angeles.

He plays Patrick, the lead role in the short horror film Unbidden, directed by Andres Rothschild, which was shot near London.

He described the production as “very challenging” to make.


The film follows a family who are forced to deal with their grief and fears when they find a mysterious boy in the woods.

“It was shot on the outskirts of London during the summer and mainly in the evenings as they needed to film in the forest in darkness for the horror film,” he said.

The film had to use different camera angles to show a monster, but Tom’s character Patrick was the only one who could see it.

That involved filming each scene several times from different angles.

“There was one scene where I was shouting at the person playing my dad because I could see the monster and he had to lose his temper and shout back at me,” said Tom.

“We had to do that scene so many times for different takes; it was very challenging.”

The film has also been awarded the winner of the Dark Hour Award at the Horrors4You awards and the Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival best horror film.

Prior to his part in the film, Tom played Benji in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Nottingham Theatre Royal and had a role in the Derby Theatre production of Two by Jim Cartwright.

He said his mum Becky, herself a former professional dancer who competed on two series of Come Dancing, was a huge inspiration and support.

She said: “Tom has always loved being on stage performing to an audience.

“He enjoys his acting lessons and is very matter-of-fact about the exciting projects he has already filmed or performed in.

“We are very proud of Tom’s achievements so far and look forward to the next project.”

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