THEY may only be 17 but pals Sam Steele and Ross Gibson are already cutting it in the world of movies.

The A-level students are up for a prestigious award for their short film Unarmed Combat — which was filmed and produced while the two were revising for their GCSEs.

Sam, from Lostock, and former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil Ross, from Heaton, have been shortlisted in the Young Filmmakers Award category at Screentest, the UK’s largest student film festival.

Sam, a former Canon Slade pupil, said: “After completing the BFI Film Academy course at Manchester's Cornerhouse, I wanted to implement the skills I had learned to create an entertaining and hopefully cinematic comedic action short.

“The idea had been knocking about for a while, and after my fellow filmmaker Ross Gibson and I fleshed it out, together we believed we could create an exciting short film, with Ross starring and myself editing and working on the visual effects.”

The Runshaw Sixth Form College student added: “The film was shot in a day with the help of three friends, Thomas Allanson, Luke Entwistle and Sam Possible, but it took about a month to edit, all whilst revising for our GCSEs.”

In the film, a teenager attempts a daring hostage rescue in a rather unconventional manner — an idea which Sam picked up while watching a special effects tutorial on Youtube.

Sam said: “It's awesome to be nominated for an award in a festival.

“I really did not expect the film to go this far on an absolute zero budget so both Ross and I are thrilled by the nomination.

“It's a chance to view our film on the big screen and see how audiences react to it, which is massively important for all involved, and receiving recognition for our efforts encourages us to continue making films.

“It is a great networking opportunity.”

Screentest is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year at London South Bank University.

Sam added: “My ultimate goal is to make feature films for a living, something that I'm determined to achieve.”

The film will be showcased at Screentest from tomorrow until Sunday.

Unarmed Combat can also be viewed on Sam’s Vimeo channel here.