Horsham sketch writer’s script made into short film

Horsham,Playwright and Film-maker, Josh Merritt (26), has had a short film, made of his script called "Delay Imminent" about an autistic man. He wrote the script four years ago and it has now been shot as a film in Devon and will be shown at film festivals.'Horsham.'Picture: Liz Pearce 031115''LP1502522 PPP-150311-172437006

Horsham,Playwright and Film-maker, Josh Merritt (26), has had a short film, made of his script called "Delay Imminent" about an autistic man. He wrote the script four years ago and it has now been shot as a film in Devon and will be shown at film festivals.'Horsham.'Picture: Liz Pearce 031115''LP1502522 PPP-150311-172437006

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A former Tanbridge House School pupil has had one of his scripts made into a short film directed by an actor who has worked alongside Brad Pitt.

Comedy sketch writer Josh Merritt, 26, from North Horsham, started his script for ‘Delays Imminent’ about several years ago and now it could appear at film festivals across the country.

A still from Delays Imminent short film written by Josh Merritt from Horsham and directed by James Cotter. Pictured are Emily Holyoake (Sarah) and Ben Gilbert (Alexander) - picture submitted by Josh Merritt

A still from Delays Imminent short film written by Josh Merritt from Horsham and directed by James Cotter. Pictured are Emily Holyoake (Sarah) and Ben Gilbert (Alexander) - picture submitted by Josh Merritt

The moving seven-minute film is about a young man, Alexander, who is struggling with the bereavement for the death of his mother and a difficult relationship with his father on top of living with the challenges of Asperger’s syndrome.

But his despair is turned to hope after he bumps into his old school friend Sarah.

Josh said: “The director is actor James Cotter, a well established actor who was in World War Z with Brad Pitt. He was on Russian border patrol.

“I’ve worked with him lots before doing one or two things for BBC local radio.

“I wrote it about four years ago and was planning to shoot and direct it myself. I asked him if he would like to play the lead when he had some time.”

That time came in Devon this year and James ended up taking the director’s chair.

The cast were Julian Seager, who has been in Doctor Who, Poldark and Doc Martin and Sarah was played by Emily Holyoake who appeared in A Fool$ Gold as well as a recent theatrical tour of The Tempest.

Ben Gilbert, who was also in A Fool$ Game, played Alexander.

Josh said: “It’s not the usual subject matter I choose. My background is comedy writing.

“I didn’t write the character of Alexander as someone with Asperger’s. It was when I saw Ben’s performance that it occurred to me.

“It’s partly based on my (past) relationship with my father. We have a good relationship now.”

Josh has sent the film to several film festivals in the hope they will choose to show it.

Meanwhile he is carrying on his writing. Current projects are a short film about an ageing rock legend, presumed dead for three or four decades after disappearing abruptly from the public eye and now struggling to overcome his past.

He is also hoping to enter a crime thriller novel into an international competition this month. If a success, he hopes to self publish it in the coming months.

He is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other writers and actors in the area. People can contact him though his Facebook page facebook.com/MerrittMusings

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