A CRISP winter’s morning in Blackbird Leys Park brought an end to the filming of Seeing Grace, a 20-minute short set to shock audiences later this year.

Created by Oxford director Mary Scott, the film offers an unflinching look at child sexual exploitation and contains echoes of the Operation Bullfinch scandal.

Theatre students and experienced actors took to venues around Oxford over the February half term to film the second part of the drama, now on hold before post-production.

Ms Scott, now living in Kirtlington, first wrote Seeing Grace as a play in 2008 and hopes to promote it in schools as an educational tool.

She said: “Filming was fun, stressful and chaotic as usual. We had quite a few extras come along on the Monday and Tuesday, and they did a great job of creating a nightclub.

“It was a lovely, buzzing atmosphere and a good experience for everyone. Everyone mucked in and had a really good attitude.”

Earlier in the week a club scene was filmed with students at City of Oxford College’s drama studio in Oxpens Road, followed by an ‘after school’ scene in Champion Way, Littlemore, and cafe scenes in Cowley Road.

Ms Scott added: “I hope it will have the impact I want it to. You get bogged down and don’t see the wood from the trees, but the responses I have had from people have been very encouraging.

“Our director of photography said it was one of the best experiences he has ever had – and he has shot The X Factor.”

Seeing Grace follows the story of Grace, a teenage girl groomed and then forced into prostitution and sexual trafficking before ending up in prison.

Last week actress Grace Viccary, 31, took on the role of the character’s older incarnation after she has been released from prison.

She said: “Out of the blue, Grace meets a childhood friend and then has the rest of her life to do something different. I liked the fact that she has made a resolution within herself not to let anyone else suffer, and to do something about it.

“I really got on with the girl that played the young Grace.

“She was a lovely character and played the part well.

“There are films out there like Taken that deal with the sex industry, but I don’t think it is talked about enough.

“Grooming is a lot more common than people realise, so I hope this film gains a lot of interest and makes people realise the truth.”

In 2013 seven men were given prison sentences at the Old Bailey totalling 95 years for offences in Oxford including rape, facilitating child prostitution and trafficking following a joint investigation by Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire County Council.

In March last year it was revealed that more than 370 children are suspected to have been victims of sexual exploitation over the past 15 years.