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The cast and director of Fast Girls came to the Hackney Academy last week to answer questions from the audience, after a special screening of the film which is not released in cinemas until Friday.

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With the Olympics coming to East London next month, the film whips up a bit of sporting excitement with the girl power tale of a relay team striving for glory, and was greeted warmly by the Academy’s teenagers who gave it a massive round of applause.

Written by Noel Clarke, he told the audience the film’s producer had been asking him to write it since writing his 2006 film Kidulthood about violent lawless teenagers - but he refused.

“I’ve always tried to do different things and expand, and as a community we need to do positive things, and this is a step in that direction,” said Noel who plays Tommy in the film.

“The thing is you can take the athletics out of there, the lesson is about working with other people it doesn’t have to be about athletics it’s about people from all backgrounds coming together.”

“I think everyone can relate to it in this room,” said a girl in the audience called Danielle.

“You’ve brought something new to the scene to Britain, even though Kidulthood and Adulthood were brilliant it’s showing a positive side that we’re not all about gun crime and all that.”

Noel was asked what’s the most important thing to look for in a script “to give it an oomph,” but said there’s no right answer.

“The best advice I could give to writers is make sure you finish your script, the amount of people who tweet me or go, “Bruv I want to be a writer, I’m half way through four scripts.”

“Well why don’t you finish one and let’s talk,” he said.

One member of the audience tried his luck with the four actresses, Lenora Crichlow, Lily James, Lashana Lynch and Dominique Tipper.

“I’ve got two questions, my first one’s a mini one, my friend’s just gone over to the radio workshop and he was asking if there’s contact details for the ladies,” he said much to the audience’s amusement.

The girls were asked whether they had to watch athletes train to build their characters.

“It was mainly through osmosis - we trained,” replied Lenora Crichlow who plays the lead Shania.

“You can’t catch abs by the way just in case anyone’s wondering, it doesn’t matter how much you look at them you have to work on your own - so yes we trained hard.”

As well as 500 sit ups a day they spent 10 weeks training with the Olympic GB athletes.

Noel went on to urge budding directors to make the most of new technology and start making films with their phones.

“There’s a lot of pressure to be the new Quentin Tarantino, the new 24 year old hot director who’s making the most amazing movie - but it’s taken me 20 years to get to this point and make my first film,” said director Regan Hall.

“Every day is important, every hour is important, every second of your career is important - you’ve just got to keep working and you’ve got to be passionate about what you do.”

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