Clarkston man nets Bafta award

A FILM director from Clarkston snapped up a BAFTA at an awards ceremony on Sunday.

At the British Academy Scotland awards, Stephen Bennett’s film Walking Wounded was named winner of the current affairs category.

In the film, the 38-year-old follows three former soldiers from the parachute regiment who are now suffering from post-traumatic stress after leaving the forces.

As the film continues, it unravels that one has succumbed to heroin addiction, another struggles with anger issues while the final soldier is battling claustrophobia.

Mr Bennett told The Extra: “These soldiers were completely abandoned once they came back from duty and they had nowhere to turn. “Soldiers deal with a lot of trauma but have no real help to manage that”.

The director admits he had to do a lot to convince the soldiers to be followed and interviewed for almost an entire year as they struggled to deal with civilian life.

He added: “I had to do a lot of persuading, but once they decided to take part, they were all extremely open and very helpful to me throughout filming. “Now they have all seen the film and reacted very well. They are doing a lot better and charities have stepped in to help them deal with their problems”.

The film appeared on BBC2 Scotland in 2009 and Stephen has also earned a Celtic media award for his feature.

The director is returning to BBC with three projects he is currently working on, one of which is a three part series about the Commonwealth games in 2014 and its impact on the westend.

Another, is the story of a disabled man in Nairn who has designed and launched a new type of wheelchair.

Stephen continued: “I am also set to revisit five boys I made a film in 2007 about who went to Ballikinrain residential school. “At the time they were all around the 12/13 yrs, now they are all turning 18”.