Staffs filmmakers scoop five prizes at prestigious industry awards

"It's fantastic that with our all-round courses which develop collaborative filmmaking in Staffordshire we have made a real impact at the RTS awards."

David Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Media (Film) Production

Film and animation students from Staffordshire University made their mark at this year's Royal Television Society Midlands Awards scooping more prizes than any other university.

Overall 15 Staffordshire students were nominated across six student categories at the awards ceremony which took place at The National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull last night.

The students came away with five prizes adding to Staffordshire University's consistently strong performance in the awards, returning consecutive winners over the last six years.

BA (Hons) Stop Motion Animation & Puppet Making's Andy Bell was recognised in both the Animation and Craft Skills: Production Design categories for his film The Oval Portrait.

“It was a bit terrifying when they called my name because I knew I had to make a speech but it was absolutely amazing!” Andy said.

“There aren't many courses that give you the opportunity to spend six months making a film and I wouldn't have been able to it without the support from the lecturers.”

Since graduating Andy has secured a job working for world renowned animation company Mackinnon & Saunders.

Animation Course Leader Stuart Messinger added: “I am always very proud of our Animation students and the great work we produce here in the Animation Department - but the two RTS wins for Andrew Bell and the nominations for Kristy Legg and Alex Sinclair highlight just a few more reasons for us to be very proud to be Staffs - but also Animators!”

Jack Kelly, Josh Clarke and Alex Daly from the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology course came top in the Drama category with their film Buses, a feature length romance.

"The event was fantastic to attend, and winning the award made all the hard work that went into writing, producing and directing a zero-budget feature film worth it! Hopefully this recognition will take me forward in creating successful and commercial films and television shows in the near-future." said Jack.

Their lecturer Paul Ottey commented: “The win in the Drama category is a fantastic reward for the hard work and dedication of the BSc Film Production Technology graduates, Josh, Jack and Alex in producing a feature length drama during their final year. We're really proud.”

Finally, BA (Hons) Media (Film) Production student Richard Binnington won the Comedy & Entertainment gong for his light-hearted documentary about collecting autographs, Searching for Signatures. Richard also bagged the award for Craft Skills: Editing alongside course mate Sam Woodhall.

“It's crazy! For me it's absolutely amazing. It's all about collaborative projects and to be able to share this with everyone who worked on the film is fantastic.” said Richard.

The event also saw success for Nathan Williams a Creative Producer at Hereford based company Rural Media and alumni of the Film Production Technology course.

David Wheeler, Senior Lecturer in Media (Film) Production, said: “It's fantastic that with our all-round courses which develop collaborative filmmaking in Staffordshire we have made a real impact at the RTS awards.”

“We have a wide range of talented students and I believe because we make all-round filmmakers that's why we’ve been so successful.”

The winning students will go forward to be judged as part of the National RTS Awards to be held in London next year.

Watch the RTS Midlands Awards ceremony in full here

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