St Albans teenager lands first lead role in feature film

St Albans' Ilirian Bushi to star in feature film Cardboard Fort. Picture: Jason G, Child Portrait Ph

St Albans' Ilirian Bushi to star in feature film Cardboard Fort. Picture: Jason G, Child Portrait Photography - Credit: Archant

A St Albans teenager has landed the lead role in an independent coming of age film.

Ilirian Bushi will appear as Charlie in a film called Cardboard Fort, which is a comedy written and directed by film and television production student at the University of York, Sam Hartshorn.

The story starts when Charlie's beloved cardboard fort is mysteriously torched and his developing friendships shattered.

Charlie has various adventures while hunting the arsonist - including a water fight, game of capture the flag, and bike race through Harrogate, where the movie is filmed.

Fourteen-year-old Ilirian auditioned for the role by recording himself and sending the tape in.

His mum, Ros Bushi, said: "Ilirian was jumping around the room in excitement when he received the news."

It is Sam Hartshorn and other crew members Joshua Dwyer, Ruby Churchill, Oscar Godfrey, Teva Fux, Jacob Boyle, Marco Alexiadis, Thomas Sandler's first feature film, which they fundraised with a Kickstarter campaign.

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However, it is not Ilirian's debut performance - his cast reel includes a Cadbury's billboard, a Samsung internet advert, and various parts in productions at The Alban Arena.

Three years ago, he spent 10 days in Scotland filming for CBBC's Raven as Ilibus, a warrior of the wolf banner.

Ilirian said: "I've been busy reading the script ready to start filming. It's amazing and really funny too.

"I'm honoured to have been chosen to portray the role of Charlie in Cardboard Fort and can't wait to meet the rest of the young cast and crew."

Ilirian regularly attends workshops and masterclasses run by acting coaches and casting directors, and is represented by Dee Boss Talent Management.

Mum Ros said: "It's like being part of a huge talented family.

"Their communication and dedication to their clients is second to none and Ilirian has been lucky to have been given so many exciting opportunities with Dee, Tracey and the Dee Boss team."