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Star surprise at tribute film day

PUBLISHED: 11:52 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 25 August 2010

THE father of murdered Harry Potter actor Rob Knox was thrilled when Hollywood star Tom Cruise sent a message of support to a film festival held in his son s honour.

THE father of murdered Harry Potter actor Rob Knox was thrilled when Hollywood star Tom Cruise sent a message of support to a film festival held in his son's honour.

Rob Knox's father Colin, from Greenhithe, was amongst hundreds of supporters who attended the event at Cineworld, Bexleyheath.

For the second year the initiative was run to award youngsters for their work in directing and producing short films.

Over 50 films were shown across Bexley over nine days in a bid to raise awareness of knife crime as well as highlight filmmaking opportunities in Bexley.

Screenwriter and leader of the judging panel Ben Trebilcook, from Welling, read out a message from Tom Cruise in front of the audience at the event last Wednesday, which included Rob's parents Sally and Colin Knox and his youngest brother Jamie.

Mr Cruise said: "I wish everyone involved great success. It is a very worthy cause."

Rob Knox, 18, was murdered in Sidcup in May 2008, and appeared as the character Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

His father, Colin, said: "It was great having a local festival attract such a massive film star. I was chuffed and surprised. It was sweet of him.

This year's festival saw the addition of workshops and the awards doubling to ten with the best film category going to Nick Wheatley, for his film called Stranger in a Strange Land.

Colin said: "I was more emotional the previous year as it was so close to the court case.

"People have attached themselves to Rob's name and say he has inspired them and that is very sweet.

"It makes me so proud. I am proud of what he had achieved in his short life and his legacy. It is amazing.

"He wanted to get involved in directing. He wanted to get behind the camera. He loved being in front of it but also wanted to get behind the camera too. He loved that environment."

A selection of films will be screened again at this year's Danson Festival in Welling, on July 3 and 4.

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