Starlet Chanel in Oscar-tipped film

local actress Chanel Gregory with dvd short film Wish 143.
local actress Chanel Gregory with dvd short film Wish 143.

AN ILKESTON barmaid will be crossing her fingers this weekend as the star of an Oscar nominated short film.

Chanel Cresswell, 21, who lives on Main Road in Smalley, is hoping Wish 143, a 20-minute film in which she plays a lead part in, will win the award for best live action short film at this year’s star-studded Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

In her spare time she can be found working behind the bar at her dad’s pub, the Queen’s Counsel on the Ilkeston Market Place.

But the former Aldercar School pupil will not be attending the red-carpet ceremony like movie A-listers Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie because the film’s crew were offered only limited tickets.

Wish 143 directed by Ian Barnes is hotly tipped to win the Oscar for its category.

The film tells the story of David, a terminally ill 15-year-old boy who wants to lose his virginity before he dies.

Chanel plays David’s best friend Amy in the film, which has already received several accolades.

Chanel said: “I will be watching the awards at home crossing my fingers. We have already won awards with this film, but for it just to be nominated for an Oscar is like winning an award in itself.

“We have definitely got a good chance of winning.”

It has won Best Short Film, The British Independent Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival and best long short at the Rushes Soho Film Festival.

Chanel’s mother Carol James, 51, will be watching the Oscars with her daughter at their home on Sunday night.

She said: “I am very proud of my daughter. She filmed it a couple of years ago and it has already won three awards. I think it is a brilliant film.”

Chanel started acting when she was 11, attending the Carlton Workshop in Nottingham.

Her first television performance was in 2003 on children’s series Dangerville, a drama about the perils facing youngsters competing in a hazardous reality TV show. Chanel played a bit part as a robot.

She later went on to play Kelly in the critically-acclaimed film This is England and follow-up series This is England ‘86 directed by Shane Meadows.

She has just finished filming the BBC drama Casualty and is due to start on another This is England follow-up in September.

Chanel, whose family all live locally, has no plans to move to London – or Hollywood – yet to further her career. She said: “I’m really quite a homely person.”