A STOURBRIDGE studio that has worked with music stars like Gabrielle and The Wonder Stuff is hoping to take the movie world by storm with its first film.

Mockingbird Film Co’, which is based on Church Street just off Stourbridge Ring Road, is branching out after enjoying success in music videos and television adverts.

Co-owners Ben Keen and Ross Syner hope to start filming Francois – the true story of a World War II hero – next month but are £5,000 short of budget so they have launched a ‘Kickstarter’ funding campaign.

The film will initially be a ‘short’ – around 15-20 minutes long – but the duo believe it could be enough of a hit with movie moguls to become a feature-length screenplay.

Ben, 29, told the News: “We have pretty much 90 per cent of the budget thanks to a well-known business magnate whose name I have been told I can’t mention!

“We have everything in place for the film – the crew, cast, camera operatives etc – but we need that extra push to get us over the line budget-wise.”

The idea for the film came from actor Dan Francois-Smith, who Mockingbird had used in several of their previous projects.

When Ben and Ross, 27, from Wollaston, were asking for ideas for an original screenplay, Dan mentioned his grandfather Jean Francois, a World War II hero.

Ben, from Kidderminster, said: “Dan told us off the cuff about his grandad so we interviewed some people who knew about him and we dug out all the facts we could get our hands on, and used some fiction to fill in the blanks.”

Jean was a French soldier who was captured by the Germans in World War II but escaped a prisoner-of-war camp while an air raid was ongoing.

After holding onto the bottom of a moving train for three days – with German soldiers in the carriage above – he made it back to France and joined the French Resistance.

Jean ended up in Bewdley in Worcestershire, where he settled, having been awarded many of the French Army’s highest military medals.

Ben added: “We have a lot of confidence in the film and we will be taking it to key festivals not just in the UK but around the world to really spread the word.”

Mockingbird was founded in 2015, mainly as a recording studio and legendary Stourbridge band The Wonder Stuff recorded their top-30 album 30 Goes Around The Sun there in 2016.

They have also collaborated with former no.1 singer Gabrielle and top labels such as BMG, Warner and Universal.

Ben said: “We have worked our way up to working with some major recording labels.

“But film has completely taken over. It’s probably 99 per cent of what we do now. A lot of people don't know there's a fully-fledged, international film studio based in Stourbridge!”

To donate to Mockingbird’s appeal, visit kickstarter.com.