Bermuda resident Brooke Burfitt has picked up an award for Best Actress at a Hollywood film awards ceremony.
Ms Burfitt took a top prize at the Hollywood Cinemas Festival last weekend for her starring role in a feature length thriller.
Ms Burfitt, who started acting about seven years ago, won the accolade for By Any Means which also went on to win Best Feature Film at the Wales International Film Festival.
Ms Burfitt said: “It’s a great feeling to get acknowledged for your work, particularly as this film is quite different, where my character is both victim and villain. “It’s nerve-racking having the movie out there, but I’m thrilled with the response.”
By Any Means has been on the international film festival circuit since last November and has won Best Feature at the Polish International Film Festival, Best Film and Best Actress at Ireland’s Wexford Film Festival and was a semi-finalist at the Auckland International Film Festival in New Zealand.
Ms Burfitt, originally from England, said: “I started acting when I was at university when there was an online competition for a Hollyoaks soap actress.
“I had always dreamt about it, but I was too shy, but I did a tape and sent it in.
“I received a call to go to the north of England to film some scenes and they followed it with T4 — it was like the X-factor of acting. I got through and was the finalist on the show. I came second and thought, this is what I want to do.
“As soon as I finished my degree in economics I did courses and short films, indy films, theatre — anything I could to build up my CV. ”
By Any Means tells the story of Mimi Wyatt (Ms Burfitt) — a C-list celebrity famous for her kiss-and-tell stories.
Mimi gets kidnapped after a nightclub appearance and her kidnapper, Frank Watson (Thomas Gipson) a desperate man in need of money to save his terminally ill daughter, holds her hostage for a ransom of $123,000.
Mimi must work out how to raise the money and convince police to believe her version of events.
The film also stars US reality show stars Jonathan Cheban (Keeping Up with The Kardashians) and Michelle Money (The Bachelorette).
This year, Ms Burfitt has been working on the Bermudian feature film Mother Of All Secrets with Top Gun star Kelly McGillis and TV actress Kate Mansi, which will be released later this year.
She said: “We have just completed post-production and getting to the exciting part of sorting out release dates.
“The trailer has received great feedback, so I can’t wait to share the full feature and make Bermuda proud.
Ms Burfitt added: “It was a shock moving to Bermuda from London. I had the fear that I wouldn’t be able to act, but it instigated the best thing that happened, which is that I produced the film that I was in.
“I also threw myself into acting at the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society, which is what I love.”
Ms Burfitt said she had plans for her future.
She added: “I am really focusing on TV movies. I am going to LA on Saturday to set up meetings and I hope getting this award will get more recognition for the Bermuda film, which already has great talent with Kelly McGillis and Kate Mansi, but I am already thinking about the third project and I want to keep with the TV movie drama.”
• For more information about the screening, the Wales International Film Festival has a website and Facebook page. The movie is also available on demand on iTunes, Amazon-On-Demand, Google Play and Vudu.