Film students receive bumper crop of nominations at industry awards

"It's brilliant that so many students across a variety of courses have been shortlisted – this is the most nominations we've had for some years."

David Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Media (Film) Production.

Staffordshire University is celebrating a bumper crop of nominations at the Royal Television Society's Midlands Student Awards.

15 students from a range of film production and animation courses have been shortlisted for gongs across six different categories with an awards ceremony taking place next month.

A zombie comedy, a sheep farming documentary and a cartoon about a princess are just some of the diverse projects recognised by the respected industry honours.

“It's brilliant that so many students across a variety of courses have been shortlisted – this is the most nominations we've had for some years.” commented David Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Media (Film) Production.

“It is a fantastic achievement, especially as some of the films were made by students in only their second year.”

Nominees for the Comedy & Entertainment award include BA (Hons) Media (Film) Production students Lewis Nicholson and Sam Atkinson who created a music video for band The Skints and course-mate Sully Parsons with his creepy comedy Zombie Adoption Centre.

Searching for Signatures, a light-hearted documentary about our fascination with collecting autographs, was produced by fellow Media (Film) Production student Richard Binnington with production design from Helen Barret and Chloe Main during their second year and has received three nods for Comedy & Entertainment, Editing, and Production Design.

Matthew Jopling's Counting Sheep, was also a second year project created on the Media (Film) Production course and is nominated in the competitive Short Feature category.

The annual ceremony is hosted alongside the main RTS Midlands Centre Awards and will be attended by a host of professionals who work both on screen and behind the camera.

David commented: “The event itself is a great opportunity for the students to network with media industry professionals from the BBC and various production companies. It should be a really good night – and fingers crossed we get a win!”

Other nominations include Scout, the tale of a young boy's adventures in the Peak District, written, directed and edited by Media (Film) Production student Esther Betteley which is up for Best Drama. Shortlisted for the same award is trio Jack Kelly, Josh Clarke and Alex Daly from the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology course with their film Buses, an hour long romantic drama shot on a budget of only £300.

Their Lecturer Paul Ottey, Course Leader Film Production Technology, said: “Jack, Alex and Josh were always passionate about creating a feature length project from early in their studies and they developed the work through the course to produce this major piece of work in their final year. We wish them all the success for their future as graduates and we continue to support their development as filmmakers.”

The University's two Animation courses have also had great success with three students receiving four nominations across two categories.

Alexander Sinclair, from BA (Hons) Animation, is in the running for Best Student Animation with his short film The Fairy and the Dragon alongside Kristy Bell,  from BA (Hons) Stop Motion Animation & Puppet Making, for her film Swan Song. The Oval Portrait by BA (Hons) Stop Motion Animation & Puppet Making's Andy Bell is also shortlisted for Best Student Animation as well as RTS Craft Skill: Production Design.

Animation Course Leader Stuart Messinger commented: “We are delighted to have received four RTS nominations this year – and to have three students represented in the Student Animation Award Category is amazing and is a true testament to the hard work and focussed craft-lead skill of our students.”

The Awards will take place on 3 November at The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.

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