Staffs students win at national Beer Town Film Festival

Two Staffordshire University students have won prizes at the finale of the national Marston's Beer Town Film Festival.

The competition received 796 entries from across the UK and BA (Hons) Media (Film) Production students Jade Fovargue and Niall Conroy both scooped prizes.

Jade won the 'Home Grown Talent' award with her film Needles and Pins about living with crippling social anxiety.

She said: “Due to the sensitive nature of my film, receiving the award and speaking to people at the festival showed me how important it is to be open and raw on film and to keep the conversation about mental health going but without glamourizing it or making it seem worse than it is.

“I had a great time at the Beer Town Film Festival! I met some cool people who I'm definitely going to ask to join me on my Final Year Films.

Course mate Niall Conroy won the 'Best Short Documentary' for his film, A Life in Fast Forward’ about Simon Dayman, a 35-year-old terminal cancer patient who expresses his thoughts on positivity and mortality.

He said: “I wasn't able to make the event unfortunately but it was amazing to see my film in a playlist with some of the films we were shown as examples earlier in the year! I received a glass trophy and a home brewed Beer with my name and film title on! Wonderful staff and wished I could have been there.”

Organisers assembled a star-studded collection of twenty judges  including the LA-based screenwriter for 'Fight Club', Jim Uhls, UK film and TV actor Steven Hartley, Hollywood visual effects producer Rich Yeomans (from Burton), award-winning filmmaker and writer, Deborah Haywood (also from Burton), Skins photographer, Gavin Watson and David Morris is an award-winning Irish music video and feature documentary filmmaker.

The winners were announced at an outdoor screening event at Marston’s Brewery in Burton-on-Trent.

Marston's Marketing Manager, Joanne Wyke said: “This is our first year for Beer Town Film Festival and we have been thrilled with the reaction from filmmakers, astounded by the talent and excited to recognise and reward the finalists celebrating craftmanship, creativity and emerging talent.”

To view the winning films click here.