Popcorn Learning Media, a creative agency based at Spode Works, offered BA (Hons) Film Production the chance to win funding by taking part in a Dragon’s Dens style pitch this week.
Eight students presented ideas for their final year film projects, and the panel were so impressed that they more than doubled the number of bursaries they had intended to give and are offering all participants work experience opportunities.
Glyn Chapman, Head of Video Production, commented: “I’m a graduate of Staffs Uni and so are all of my team. It’s great to see such creative young people in the local area and we strongly believe in helping to keep that talent in Stoke-on-Trent and getting them into creative jobs.
“The pitches were really impressive, primarily because these are films that we want to watch! All the students had strong ideas and they all had good reasons for needing the extra budget to create their films, so that’s why we decided to award a bursary to each of them.”
Four winners were chosen to receive a £250 bursary and the remaining students will be given a £100 cash boost for their projects.
Winner Darcy Wootton-Davies is making a documentary about Mario Silva, a young boxer from Manchester. The 22-year-old from Shrewsbury said: “The whole pitching process was a good learning experience. It was quite nerve wracking, but it was a good to have the chance to present my project to industry professionals.
“The funding that I’ve been awarded will help my project massively and I feel it’s really going to bring it to life. I have ideas of filming Mario sparring underwater and the funding will help make this happen, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”
Also receiving £250 is Irene Da Costa Campos for her short film about colourism and it impact on a family’s relationships, while Tom Ellison is making an experimental film which takes the viewer on a journey into the mind of a sports enthusiast. Meanwhile, Bee Roberts’ ambitious project will use a striking visual metaphor to represent the experience of someone living with a chronic illness.
Bee, 23 from Shrewsbury, said: “It about the journey the main character goes through mentally trying to identify themselves in a way that doesn’t allow their disability to constrict them. I’m going to visually show that by putting them in a glass box, unable to get out and unable to control their surroundings. As their mental state changes, so will the state of the box.
“Without this funding it would just have been a frame to represent the box but now I can buy the materials to make one, which will enhance the film massively.”
The bursaries were made available through Staffordshire University’s Horizon Fund which provides scholarships, bursaries and opportunities for students funded by donations from alumni and the public.
Find out how you can support the Horizon Fund and make a donation at https://giving.staffs.ac.uk/