A GWENT-born actress, comedienne and writer scooped an award in an international short film festival and saw her feature banned by a London council.

Elise Harris, originally from Pontypool, won the award for best actress in the capital's Super Shorts film festival, featuring 500 entries from across the globe.

The 28-year-old former Abersychan Comprehensive pupil told the Argus it was exciting to net her first award.

She was nominated for her performance in her own short film Vestal Virgin.

The film was shown at the Odeon Covent Garden.

"I felt numb it was really incredible," she said.

But bosses at Westminster council took a dim view of the film and banned a daytime screening in Old Compton Street.

"I really can't understand why when there was nothing offensive in the film but it meant I got more showings in the end," she said.

No-one from Westminster council was available for comment.

The two-minute film centres on the legend of the vestal virgin order in ancient Rome. The film features a woman who has broken the rules of the order and been burried alive for her transgression. It shows her waiting to be rescued.

Miss Harris, who has worked as a journalist and radio presenter is also a comedienne and regularly performs poetry readings.

She is appearing at the Edinburgh Festival this summer.