A STROUD filmmaker has won a prestigious award after directing and writing a coming-of-age film which was shot in and around the Five Valleys.

Guy Davies, 28, directed and wrote the film Philophobia, which won the Best Global Cinema award at the prestigious San Diego Film Festival last month.

The film also sold out six screenings at the festival on October 17 and 18.

Inspired by directors such as David Fincher and Derek Cianfrance, Guy also won the Litecoin Filmmaker award at the same festival which was voted for by his fellow filmmakers.

The production was shot in Stroud as well as in Randwick and Stonehouse.

The film’s title, Philophobia, is the fear of falling in love, which guy says acts as a backdrop theme throughout.

“The film is about a boy and his friendship group in the last week of school on study leave,” said Guy.

“They cause some mischief and the lead character wants to be a writer and escape the town that he’s in.

“But he starts to realise that it’s less simple than he previously thought in that a lot of his friends are going to stay behind Including his love interest. I guess it’s like a battle between his ambition and his situation.”

All the film’s lead actors were undiscovered talent, and Guy embarked on an intense recruitment process to find the perfect actors.

“We had 9000 applicants for the six main roles,” he said.

“We had 4000 for the lead role so I paired people up and shot scenes just to see what their chemistry was like and then I decided.”

The production also features some famous faces, with Game of Thrones actors Harry Lloyd and James Faulkner making supporting appearances.

Guy’s former business partner and longest friend Mathew Brawley is also credited with helping to create the film. Matthew collaborated with Guy on the story, which is somewhat autobiographical for the both of them, having grown up in Stroud together.

Guy said he has been interested and inspired by movies since as long as he can remember. He began acting at a young age, and even appeared in a few television commercials during his early teenage years.

But it was being behind a camera where he found his true passion, which he pursued in the US.

“When I finished school, I went to the New York Film Academy on my own at 18 to do cinematography for a year,” he said.

“It was an incredible experience, and when I came back, I had the basic skills and understanding needed to make a start in the film industry."

Guy will also be travelling to Norway at the end of this month, where Philophobia is nominated for best film at Oslo’s Independent Film Festival.

The film had its European Premiere this week at the hugely prestigious Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, which is regarded by many as at the forefront of independent cinema.

Guy says he would also love to do a cinema release in Stroud.

“It’s really been a passion project for the community,” he said. “A Cinema release here is a big goal of mine.”

Guy says he is happy with the success the production has received so far, but there is plenty of work still to be done.

“The job isn’t done yet, because there is still six or so months left of the festival circuit left, so we’ll try and keep picking up awards at the festivals to prove we have an audience and we’ll try to sell the film.”