FAMILIES at Newton Abbot Library were treated this weekend to the screening of a short musical comedy film shot entirely in Devon.

‘Between the Lines’ is a warm-hearted feel-good film with a core message of the importance of libraries and what they provide for their communities. The film was shot entirely on location and much of it was filmed in Coombeshead Academy’s library.

Between the Lines tells the story of Jane, a shy, quiet girl who spends most of her time in her local library but one day is forced to defend it from closure by the local council.

In a series of magical musical encounters with characters from popular fiction, she is helped to find her voice and saves the day with the opportunity to learn more about how it was made.

Newton Abbot was the latest venue for the film’s screening, having already being successfully staged at other libraries in the county.

The final screening of this season will take place in Exeter Library.

Next year the film will roll out to a wider audience, and producer and assistant director Jeff Sleeman,is exploring the possibilities of outdoor screenings or showing it as a support feature.

As well as screening the 15-minute film, the afternoon event included a talk by Jeff, a Q & A session, and a singing workshop facilitated by the film’s composer/lyricist Grace Hancock.

Jeff said: ‘This is a very entertaining, professional and uplifting film and has already won a prize for best original song at the Paris Film Festival earlier this year.

‘It touches on contemporary issues such as anxiety, shyness, bullying and the importance of libraries to their communities – but also includes pirates, wolves, a ghost, a crocodile, a Mad Hatter’s tea party and some great songs!

‘It’s about how shyness can be overcome. The lead character Jane is a shy girl who has probably been bullied. However, she finds the courage to stand up for what she believes in.’

‘It was such fun to make and we are delighted to be able to share not only the film, but some of the stories behind its production, with local audiences.’

He hailed this weekend’s screening a success with many children taking part in the singing workshop as well as enjoying the film.

This is the first collaboration between Jeff and director Dom Lee. ‘There’s a thriving filmmaking community in Devon,’ he explained, and he’s not ruling out a further production with a longer running time. ‘Start small,’ he said, ‘and you never know!’