A short film shot in Oxford and starring Port Meadow actor Peter Grant has been picked up by two American film festivals. 

Actor Peter Grant, who lives on a boat near Port Meadow and appears in an Oxford-shot short film picked up by two American film festivals, says appearing in it has “re-ignited” his passion for acting.

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The film, titled Alice in Nightmareland, was shot in Oxford last summer, and has been selected for an honourable mention by the Fear Faire Film Festival which opens next week, as well as nominated by Ontario's AltFF Alternative Film Festival.

The seven-minute “microhorror” was filmed around many of Oxford's famous locations, including the Castle, Alice Shop and St Frideswide's Church.

Its plot sees a modern-day film crew shooting a documentary on the annual Alice Day, before it all goes horribly wrong.

Mr Grant says of shooting: "When we got on set on the Mound, we all really enjoyed filming off the cuff and improvising our lines.

“Our shoot had a sense of anarchy matching Alice’s adventures, and all the actors were in their element.”

"I played a character who loves the book but has had a magic mushroom trip and fears going down a rabbit hole.

“I brought a book on Lewis Carroll from the Alice Shop, and wore a shirt with tiny rabbits on it, to connect with the White Rabbit. 

“My character is nervous, he’s trying to warn the documentary crew and other characters that something is going to go wrong!”

Peter, who lives near Port Meadow and originally went to theatre school in London, added: "We also shot outside the Alice Shop with some cosplayers who were the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter.

“Afterwards the cast and crew went for a wrap dinner at a local restaurant, and got to know each other, which was great.

“Alice in Nightmareland has re-ignited my passion for acting, and it's nice to hear it’s already started to get recognition with this Californian festival award."

Writer and producer Nina Romain, who was born in John Radcliffe Hospital, said: "When I visited the Alice Restaurant in Tokyo a few years ago, I knew I had to bring my Alice obsession back to where I was born.

“Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly and it’s a great place to shoot.”

The Fear Faire Film Festival runs from January 13-15, 2023 in Spring Valley Lake, California and will screen three other of Nina Romain’s shorts (Lilies, Grandfather, and Ghost London).

The festival is fit with three screens and three channels with personal headphones, so no one misses a ghostly footstep.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1