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Steyning film-maker Sam Sutterlin - rising star

PUBLISHED: 16:18 08 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:18 08 December 2014

Sam Sutterlin

Sam Sutterlin

Archant

Young film-maker Sam Sutterlin attends Steyning Grammar School and is currently editing a documentary, Living a Lifestyle

Although he only recently celebrated his 16th birthday, Sam Sutterlin has known for quite some time what he wants to do for a living… make films. In fact, he was only two when he first showed an interest in cameras and claims to have had one hanging round his neck for at least the last ten years.

A keen cricketer and captain of the first XI at Steyning Grammar School, Sam was once heavily into mountainboarding, an extreme sport that combines the most dangerous aspects of skateboarding and snowboarding. Before he broke both a leg and an ankle a couple of years ago, he filmed his perilous descents down the steepest slopes of the South Downs around Haredown near Chichester. Rather than first tentative steps, these dramatic all-action thrillers provided Sam with spectacular leaps into the film business.

Having produced about 50 shorts on a rich variety of subjects, Sam has decided it is time to move on to meatier topics. His biggest project yet is a documentary called Living a Lifestyle, which features three interesting men from dramatically different backgrounds who have achieved significant success.

Sir Charles Burrell, whose 3,500-acre Knepp Estate is just down the road from Sam’s home in Partridge Green, is one of them. Sir Charles is allowing what was previously a traditional arable and dairy farm to revert to a more natural landscape in what has been dubbed a re-wilding process. Longhorn cattle, Exmoor ponies, Tamworth pigs and Fallow deer roam about and Sam, of course, has filmed them and interviewed Sir Charles.

A rather different character, but one whom Sam similarly admires, is Robbie Raggio. “He grew up on a council estate, lives in Brighton and is now a charismatic self-made millionaire,” explained Sam.

The final subject, and the only one from outside Sussex, is Sultan Al Saud. “He’s a member of Team Galag, a group of Saudi Arabians who take part in the world-renowned Gumball 3,000 Rally,” revealed Sam. “This year they used the remarkable £1m McLaren P1 as one of their cars.”

Having filmed all his subjects, Sam is busy editing the footage and planning to release the 45-minute documentary early in the New Year. Already three years in the making, Sam is confident it will be available through iTunes. “You have to work directly with Apple to get your work on iTunes and, ordinarily, you have to be a big name in the film world, so for someone like me it can seem pretty difficult.” But for Sam, like the subjects in his film, failure is not an option.

Track Sam’s progress on Instagram @sutters7 or vimeo.com/samsutterlin

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