WHEN James Price was a young boy, he was struck by a film he saw on TV. Not because it had big-budget special effects or an eerily haunting horror scene.

But simply because the actors in the film looked and talked like him. For as much as anyone wants escapism in art, a dramatic story to transport them to another place in another time, sometimes all you want is a mirror.

And for that young boy in Springburn, the film was Orphans. Peter Mullan’s acclaimed black comedy about a family struggling to deal with the death of their mother.

The piece is a classic Mullan mix of hard-hitting realism and symbolic fantasy. Poignant and hilarious in equal measure.

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And although they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, Price did more than that. Mullan is the star of his new short film The Taking of Balgrayhill Street, premiering at the Glasgow Film Festival on Thursday.

The film is part of the Skint monologues, a BBC Arts production that sets out to tackle the issue of poverty. Mullan joins Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee as the project’s creative directors, with Derry Girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson joining the cast alongside Corey Campbell.

Price, who won a Scottish Bafta in 2015 for his short film Dropping Off Michael, could not be happier to work alongside his idol.

“This is a dream come true,” he said. “Orphans is the reason I became a filmmaker. That’s the first film I saw as a kid. My mom and dad had it on video and it was the first time I saw people who looked like my family and talked like my family on screen. That’s what planted the seed for me that people made films in Glasgow.

The National:

James Price wants more people who come from a working class background to enter the arts

“The one I wrote and directed starring Peter Mullan is essentially a love letter to my dad. I come from a working class background and me and my dad were really close. He passed away at the start of lockdown last year."

Price said it wasn’t too long after his dad passed away that he connected with Mullan.

"There were so many similarities between Peter and my dad," he said. "A cool, masculine Scottish dude, the pair of them. So I knew Peter could play a version of him really well.

“[The film is] a lot about male pride, and especially in working class communities and I just want to tell an authentic, Glasgow story that would ring true with people who come from the sorts of backgrounds that I come from.”

The National: Peter Mullan   Picture: Stewart Attwood

Peter Mullan is known for his acting in Ozark as well as directing Neds and Orphans

Meeting Mullan didn't disappoint, with Price saying the Neds director was the “nicest man you’ll ever meet”.

He said: “All the other cast members in the monologue are all my family. So I had him acting with my family. They were all nervous; they were all Ozark fans. So they were all jittery but he instantaneously put them all at ease and made them all relax.

“He’s just the kindest, most warm and generous guy you could meet. If I could aspire to be like anyone in life it would be him.”

Much like how Mullan's films have been influenced by his own life, Price said it’s crucial for him to write about his own lived experience.

The filmmaker hopes these short films will give others a glimpse into a world they may not be too familiar with, or let people see their own life reflected.

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He continued: “I want to give people a glimpse into a world they might not know first hand. I want people to know these stories are out there, they exist and they are a lot more common than people may think.

“But the main thing I want people to take away is that it’s about hope, it’s about the kindness and warmth in these communities.

“It’s not all grim, dreary and grave. I want them to take away a message of hope and love.”

The Skint monologues will be available to view on BBC4 and BBC iPlayer from Sunday, March 20.