An award-winning teen filmmaker has pleaded for the safe return of her life's work, stolen from her family car after she exhibited her production at Kingston's International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF).

The first episode of Agi's film about Magdalena

Agnieszka Kolaczynska, 13, known as Agi, won IYAF's best under-17 production award last week but was heartbroken when her laptop, camera, hard drive and memory cards - meaning years-worth of original footage and the back-ups - were stolen as she and her family swam at New Chiswick Pool in west London on the last day of the festival.

The film, called My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s Syndrome), features sibling Magdalena, nine, and is split into seven episodes with footage from between 2009 and 2013. But the stolen work goes back further still.

Also taken was Magdalena's iPad, which she used to help her read.

Agi, of Powys, Wales, said: "It was such a great festival, and so positive. I was paired with amazing mentors and it was great to see other kids making their voices heard through art. I was ready to come home and get on with the next thing.

"I'm just completely gutted. I've been torn in half, really. It's my life's work from when I was five.

"It's footage from a really long time ago that I've been filming every day, and all my equipment that I've saved to build up by dog walking.

"I'd been shooting and vlogging every day at IYAF and I was going to make a film about the festival.

"I got my first camera when I was five. But I had a go on my dad's camera and he let me hold it when I was two."

Mum Anita, 49, said: "We had just gone for a relaxing swim for the end of the festival.

"It's a really big thing that Agi got her film accepted into the festival so we said we would make it our holiday this year. It was the best experience - she was so motivated.

"You feel kind of violated. It's really affected her and Magdalena."

The theft of the laptop has forced the family to change their email and online shopping accounts, and made it harder to keep in touch with people from their home in rural Wales, Mrs Kolaczynska added.

The stolen hard drive is a black Seagate 1TB drive in a black shell case, and has a typed white sticker on the back that reads: "MacBook Pro Retina".

Agi posted on Facebook: "If anyone is reading this who took the the memory cards/hard drive or finds them, please drop them in at a shop or leave them somewhere where we can get them back, they are my work and I can't get that footage back."

She told the Comet she created the first episode of My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s Syndrome) in response to an online competition. After she posted it on YouTube, "it went kind of viral," she said.

She added: "People were asking, 'When's the next episode?'"

When the film was screened at IYAF, Magdalena was overjoyed.

Agi said: "Her face was the best. She was beaming and she was laughing at all the funny bits. She was shouting up, 'Look, it's me!' and the audience was laughing."

The Metropolitan Police said last night that no arrests had been made, and that detectives from Hounslow CID were investigating.

  • Anyone with information should call Hounslow police on 101 and quote crime reference number 0514642-15.