Film telling Kayleigh Haywood story to be preserved in BFI archive
A FILM about murdered youngster Kayleigh Haywood is to be preserved in the British Film Institute archive.
Kayleigh’s Love Story, a short film about the 15-year-old Measham schoolgirl, has been viewed by an estimated 36 million people online and won numerous awards.
The film was made by Affixxius Films for Leicestershire Police last year to highlight the dangers to children of online grooming. As well as its many online views, it has been shown at schools across the UK to hundreds of thousands of youngsters.
Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said he was delighted that the importance of the film and its message was being recognised by the film industry.
He said: “We made the film to raise greater awareness of the dangers posed to children by predators operating online and the most important statistic is that it led directly to 50 children in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland coming forward and making disclosures to us.
“Those disclosures enabled us to safeguard those children – something that may not have happened without this film.
“To win awards for our work is of course extremely rewarding – enormous care and effort went into the making of the film and the decision about how we should show it to children in small, supervised screenings in school.
“To learn that the British Film Institute now intend to preserve the film in the national archive is hugely satisfying, and helps create a permanent legacy for an inspirational piece of work that was born from the bleakest and most tragic of circumstances.
“I hope Kayleigh’s family can feel some consolation that their daughter’s legacy will help keep children throughout the world safe for generations to come.”
Kayleigh’s body was found in a field north of Ibstock, North West Leicestershire, on November 18, 2015.
In the days before her rape and murder, the Measham teenager was bombarded with messages online from Ibstock pervert Luke Harlow who told the schoolgirl she was “beautiful and special” as they exchanged 2,643 messages over 13 days.
Harlow sexually assaulted Kayleigh at his flat and was later jailed for 12 years. His neighbour, Stephen Beadman, was jailed for life for raping and murdering Kayleigh in nearby woodlands after she tried to escape from Harlow’s flat.
Tim Cabrelli of Affixxius Films said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see one of the most impactful pieces of work we’ve ever produced be entered into the BFI archive for prosperity.
“It’s an accolade that is rarely achieved within our sector and reserved more for the Hollywood blockbusters, so it’s great to see it getting further recognition and being preserved for future reference and generations to come.”