South London student, 12, features on the big screen at Seattle International Film Festival 

A student from Blackheath has made her US acting debut at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Zada Farrell is a student at Blackheath High School in Vanbrugh Park.

Last week she made her US acting debut in the award-winning film, A House in Jerusalem, by Muayad and Rami Alayan.

The film was screened at the Seattle Film Festival this week, marking its breakthrough into the US market. 

At just 12 years old, this is Ms Farrell’s first feature film and she is already making waves in the industry. 

Zada Farrell speaking at the film premiere (Picture: Stephen Farrell)

She said: “I have wanted to be an actor since I was very young,so it is a dream come true to be cast in my first film. 

“Walking on set in front of the crew, cameras and lights was a real ‘wow’ moment.

“Living in Jerusalem while filming allowed me to learn a lot about the city and really immerse myself in the character.

“I am grateful for the opportunities and support my family and Blackheath High School has given me to make all this possible.”

The film was funded by the British Film Institute and premiered earlier this year at the International Film Festival  in Rotterdam.  

A House in Jerusalem explores complex themes of heritage, culture and the meaning of home through the eyes of a grieving British family who move into an old house in the city, setting off a chain of unexpected events with a Palestinian girl whose family used to live there. 

The rising star plays a supernatural character, Rasha, in the coming-of-age drama. Ms Farrell’s performance has been praised by critics, including a review in Screen Daily which described the “attention and sympathy” in her role.

Ms Farrell first joined Blackheath High School at six years old. She has built up her skills at the drama department as well as at the stage school, Sylvia Young. 

Natalie Argile, headteacher at Blackheath High School, said: “We are so proud of  Zada for her performance in such a poignant and politically charged film. 

“At Blackheath High School we are always looking to support our students and help them pursue their dreams. 

“Zada is an extraordinary young actor who has shown incredible commitment and dedication. 

“We know that she has a bright future ahead of her and look forward to seeing her future appearances on stage and screen.” 

Pictured top: Ms Farrell on the red carpet (Picture: Stephen Farrell)

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