AN Oxford director has scooped the top prize at an international film festival for a documentary charting her life in care during the 1970s.

Sharon Woodward, from Headington, received Best Documentary Film at the Eighth International Film Palace Festival in Bulgaria for her film Thank You Skinhead Girl.

The film concentrates on one of the “most misunderstood” youth groups – skinheads – and documents Ms Woodward’s life growing up in Oxfordshire.

Ms Woodward, 44, provides the voiceover for the semi-autobiographical film, which features her own experiences and those of her friends.

Old footage and photos are included alongside interviews and the film was supported by charity Film Oxford (OFVM).

Last night Ms Woodward said she was “absolutely delighted” with the award.

She said: “It was so brilliant – it made all the work during the past two years worthwhile.”

The film features music from Reggae group the Symarip, Oxford Ska band The Inflatables and Welsh Oi! band The Oppressed.

Ms Woodward said: “It shows the historical rise of the skinhead movement, the fashion, music and the gang structure in Oxfordshire at the time.

“The audience are taken into the personal reflections of that time, which shows a working class girl finding refuge within the skinhead movement – a place where she grew, survived, thrived and eventually learnt a very hard, uncomfortable lesson through violence.”

This is not the first award Ms Woodward has scooped for one of her films.

Her 1992 documentary The Journey received the David Altshul Award for Innovation and Creative Excellence in Film Making, the Critic’s Award at Edinburgh Fringe Film and Video Festival and a Certificate of Merit at the 28th Chicago Film Festival.

Ms Woodward could not make it to the festival last month to receive her latest prize due to other filming commitments.

Festival organiser Luba Piperova said: “We deeply regret that Ms Woodward was not present at the festival, because the film caused a real furore.

“The audience and the jury loved it.”

The film, which also received a grant from Screen South, will now be shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the coming weeks.

Ms Woodward said she was now looking forward to moving on to other projects.

She said: “I have just finished a project with Film Oxford about cyberbullying, working with three young ladies from Cherwell School and St Ebbe’s Primary School.

“Currently I’m preparing to run a two-week drama and video workshop at Chiltern Edge School, in Sonning Common, and later in the year will be working with the Pitt Rivers Museum running a film workshop with people who have tattoos and body piercings.”