Hansel and Gretel without the ginger bread… 13-year-old Ashton ‘force of nature’ dreams up short adaptation

A 13-year-old girl living in Ashton is raising money to create her own short film adaptation of Hansel and Gretel.

Holly Jacobson is finally creating the short film entitled Harry and Grace after saving money since she was nine years old.

The idea behind the 15 minute long film came from Holly’s problem she has with the original story, leading her to put her own modern twist on the classic fairy tale.

Holly said: “My problem with Hansel and Gretel, ever since I was about six, was that in the story the father is painted as the hapless victim, as he leads to the murder of his own kids.

“I didn’t think that was quite right, it’s the evil step mother, and they’re not even her kids!

“It took the stepmother three hours to persuade him to go and murder his kids. I just don’t see how that’s right.

“I have bought his capability to light, from a feminist angle.”

Holly’s version of the fairytale contains the themes of grooming, gender stereo-typing, family break down and neglect which mirror the themes in the original story of Hansel and Gretel, although she chose issues which were more relevant in the modern age.

She said: “I know that some of the issues in the film are becoming more relative in the modern age, and I have put a spin on the grooming and I have flipped the genders.”

Raising money since she was nine, Holly put aside all money given to her for both birthday and Christmas presents to fund the project, as well as raising money through her own work as an actor.

Holly’s Mum told MM: “I am really proud of her. When she said she really wanted to make the film this year, I told her no, we were too busy and I thought she should wait till she was 14 at least.

“But she just got on with organising it and at a certain point all I can do is support her with it. She’s a force of nature!”

The money raised is going towards the set for the short film, which is being built in the middle of the woods in an undisclosed location.

Holly told MM: “It’s going to be a quirky cottage in the woods, and I have already found a beautiful forest that I have used in the promotional video and it’s going to look beautiful.

“However, it’s not going to be made out of ginger bread.”

Winning awards nationally and internationally, Holly has completed three films already which have picked up awards at Cardiff Mini Film Festival.

As well as this, Holly won the “One to Watch” award at the National Youth Film Festival for the short film Moving On, which led to her film being played in Leicester Square in London.

Moving On also won awards across seas picking up a number of awards at Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, with the lead actress winning Best Actor.

To donate any money towards the film, click here.

Image courtesy of Holly Jacobson via Vimeo, with thanks.

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