YOUNGSTERS in Pitsea are being given the chance to become film stars.

The London Bus Theatre Company has been handed more than £3,000 to roll out its film-making project, which was launched in Canvey 18 months ago.

The funding, from the Government initiative Community First, will be used to run arts awards to encourage teenagers to learn about dancing, singing and drama.

Bronze and silver awards will be on offer, which can boost CVs and university application forms in the same way as the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Youngsters, aged between 11 and 19, are also being encouraged to audition for a role in a major feature film, set to hit our screens next year.

Those selected will be paid for their work.

Oil City Rockers, which is being filmed across South Essex, is a nod to Oil City Confidential, about Canvey band Dr Feelgood.

Teenagers on the island have bagged lead roles in it, and have also been signed up to assist with lighting, production, make-up and filming.

However, there are still opportunities available for Pitsea youngsters.

Kathy Austen, from the London Bus Theatre Company, said: “It’s a brilliant way to get young people in Pitsea off the streets.

“Art awards are funded by us, so if someone wants to learn a new dance routine they should definitely sign up.

“When we started on Canvey we had an unbelievable response. In the first week, about 300 people got in touch. I’m hoping it will be just as popular in Pitsea.

“Our project can help increase confidence and equip youngsters with new skills which can improve their CVs. There is also a chance to earn some money and make new friends.”

Auditions will take place at the James Hornsby School, in Leinster Road, Laindon, on Saturday.

Anyone interested in attending should call Mrs Austen on 01208 814514 or 07831 514811, or email