Special guest actor is backing her hometown film festival

Katya Greer, who was in The Antwerp Dolls
Katya Greer, who was in The Antwerp Dolls

An actor from Leigh has spoken of her delight at being asked to attend this weekend’s celebration of cinema in the town as a special guest.

Katya Greer, who starred in action-packed crime movie The Antwerp Dolls, will be at the Leigh Short Film Festival on Saturday and will present the overall prize to the winner.

Former Lowton High School pupil Katya studied performing arts at Wigan and Leigh College and then went to Manchester University before making her way into the film industry.

She says she was thrilled to accept the invite to the event and says grass-roots festivals such as the one at the Turnpike Centre are vital for people looking to make their way in the tough and competitive arts world.

Katya said: “I’m very much looking forward to it, it’s exciting. It was lovely to get the invite and it will be nice to see what people are creating because I think there’s so much hidden talent.

“It will be great to see what people are coming up with in terms of storylines and how the films are put together.

Festivals are really important because support from people around you is very important in this industry.

Katya Greer

“Festivals are really important because support from people around you is very important in this industry. It’s very ruthless and encouragement pushes you forward to keep going.”

She says accepting the role in Jake Reid’s film The Antwerp Dolls was particularly exciting as it gave her the chance to play a character far removed from herself.

Katya said: “She’s the most controversial character I’ve played. It’s very much a London gangster film and my character is quite ruthless underneath it all and does a lot of plotting and planning.

“She’s holding on to a lot of past experiences involving her father. The characters are all very deep, there was a lot going on behind the actual film itself.”

Katya, who has also had roles in films such as Money Kills and The Smoke, is currently taking a short break from acting to develop her yoga business.

She will hand over the prize to the winning director at the Leigh festival.

The third festival will see a dozen short movies screened, ranging from serious explorations of mental health and disability to light-hearted and quirky comedies.

Local film-makers Nag Nag Productions have chosen the line-up and directors will battle it out to win a cash prize of £200 by taking the audience’s vote.

Leigh Film Festival secretary Elizabeth Costello said: “The standard has raised the bar again this year and we’re really excited for people to see the quality of short films we’ve got.

“We’re really hoping the young, budding film-makers of the borough and the region’s colleges and universities will get on board.”

Doors open at 6pm with the films starting at 7pm. Due to the nature of some of the films the event is for over 16s only.

Tickets are £5, available now by ringing 07969 647466, visiting the Turnpike box office or online at www.leighfilmfestival.com