A BOLTON director has turned to the online community to help get his most recent film out onto the big screen.

Paul Blinkhorn, a Bolton based writer and director, has launched an internet crowdfunder campaign to raise funds to support his short film’s submission to festivals, nationally and internationally.

The 13 minute short, After Auschwitz, stars actress Cathleen Blower, from Farnworth, and explores the 'emotional survival of one woman and how she deals with her acceptance of the past'.

The former Bolton Sixth Form head boy went from working in WHSmith and even the Bolton branch of Anne Summers to studying for an MA in Theatre Directing and winning awards for his short film Duty Calls screened at festivals in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Romania.

The Artistic Director of Northern Outlet Theatre Company has also directed a number of short films and was assistant director for 'Two' and 'Two 2' at the Octagon Theatre alongside director David Thacker.

Most recently he was shortlisted for the Genesis Future Directors Award 2016 at the Young Vic and has returned from London where he has worked on theatre and radio.

However, the turn to crowdfunding is a first for the dad-of-one who is hoping it will pay for the festival entrance fees for the short he produced just over two years ago.

He said: "This is the first time I've done anything like it but I've seen people previously have success and raising funds to make shorts. In our case it's finished but it's about getting it out to the festivals.

"It is not the best time for the creative industry and getting funding to get films out there. People with the purse strings have difficulties having faith in brand new projects which may or may not work. Crowdfunding seems to be the way a lot of people are going now to support what they are doing."

Paul’s first short film Duty Calls won Best Short at the Pennine Film Festival and was supported by North West Vision and Media to be part of the Cannes Short Film Corner.

After Auschwitz was originally written by Paul as a play and the script was chosen for reading directed by artistic director Elizabeth Newman in The Best of Bolton at The Octagon Theatre last year.

However, he decided to adapt it into a film production using Macclesfield actress Hazel Earle and Cathleen Blower, then aged 79, filming at her shelter accommodation in Farnworth over three days, as well as a day at the picturesque Sandys Row Synagogue in London.

Sadly in the past 18 months Cathleen has developed vascular dementia and the diagnosis has made Paul even more determined to get the film out to a wider audience.

"It mean so much more to me," he added.

"It shows her in her prime as a trained actress and I hope it will show her in her element.

"What I love about Manchester and the North-West is there is so much creativity out there and so many people wanting to help each other out."

The crowdfunder is hoping to reach a target of £800 and anything raised up to £1500 will be used to support the films entry into festival, but should that be exceeded Paul hopes to invest any additional funding into his next short film.

To find out more visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/after-auschwitz-short-film.