22-year-old writes, directs and stars in chart-topping LGBT film

James Hockaday

A 22-year-old first time film director, writer and actor from Burnham who was homophobically bullied at school topped the charts with an award winning LGBT movie last month.

Aaron Ellis, from Sandringham Court, was overjoyed last month to find his film, Beneath the Skin, shoot straight to the top of the charts of TLA, a highly-revered LGBT film network.

Aaron, who wrote he film and directed it with Michael Mackinnley, said: “We had hopes but I think it’s fair to say we didn’t really see it doing as well as it has, we never expected it to hit number one, we had the biggest selling film on TLA which is huge.”

Beneath the Skin, which was released on DVD in the UK on August 18, had previously fetched numerous film awards including best LGBT feature film at the IFS Film Festival in Beverly Hills last year where it premiered.

The film is about two young men, one from Ascot and the other from Alabama, who are brought together in Nova Scotia, Canada having both left home due to feelings of abandonment.

Aaron plays lead role Joshua, a young man from Ascot who decides to leave his old life behind after his mother dies.

Although the film was mostly shot in Canada some short scenes were shot in houses in Burnham and Ascot.

Aaron says his experiences of being bullied at the former Burnham Upper School only furthered his determination to make it in the LGBT movie scene.

“I had a lot of physical abuse at school, I was hit a lot," he said. 

Aaron started secondary school shortly after his father passed away.

“That didn’t really help my because I was awkward, I didn’t like sports, I wasn’t like the other boys.

“My teenage years were difficult and it gave me some extra drive because I didn’t want to do what people were telling me what to do.

“It gave me the ambition to go and live my dreams.”

Aaron plans on moving to Beverly Hills within the next couple of years to further his career in LGBT cinema.

Follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronMarkEllis.

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