UWE students dominate RTS award nominations

Issue date: 09 February 2010

'Jutvari'  film team in Bulgaria Media Practice and Animation students from the University of the West of England (UWE) have been shortlisted in every category for this year's regional finals of the South West RTS awards. Out of the seven finalists, five are from UWE. The award ceremony will be held at the Picture House on Whiteladies Road in Bristol on 11 February 2010.

The winners will go on to represent the South West Region in the National Finals in London in May. The Royal Television society (RTS) awards have been running since the 1940's are the most prestigious and long-running industry peer-awarded commendation in this field.

The RTS Student Television Awards recognise the best audiovisual work created by full- or part-time students as part of their course. The national awards ceremony is held every May in central London.

In all three categories, Animation, Factual and Fiction, the work of UWE students has been shortlisted for an award.

In the fiction category, 'Stand up Tall' by James Thompson and his team is an atmospheric thriller about a young woman who becomes sick of the domestic abuse she suffers and decides to take matters into her own hands. The film has very strong production values in terms of directing, camerawork, lighting and editing.

James Thomson said, “I was inspired by the former Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate factory in Greenbank Road (in Easton, Bristol), where I worked in July 2008 for Collision films on a McFly music video. It had an abandoned dark feel to it, of something that had once been thriving but was now over. This led me to think of a relationship that was 'over', in which a woman had to stand up to her fears. I really appreciate getting nominated for this award, as it is great to have some recognition for something you have put so much of yourself into. Having this nomination, is a big plus for everyone on the team who worked on this project with me.”

Also nominated in this category is 'Dead Fish and Unused Condoms' by Alfie Dale and his team. Following the untimely death of his goldfish, purposeless Fred discovers his inner-poet. A tale of self-indulgence, featuring a dead fish and an unused condom.

In the factual category, 'Meriden Way' produced and directed by Samantha Low, is a documentary about the celebrations held for St George's Day on a housing estate in Watford, and explores successfully the thin line between nationalism and racism.

Samantha Low said, “I was delighted to hear that my documentary Meriden Way has been nominated for such a prestigious award. I chose to produce a factual film as I felt a strong desire to represent the world around me as I was experiencing it. I hope that in the future my film can reach even wider audiences through festivals within the UK and in Europe.”

'Jutvari' by Nick Jones and his team, is set in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It's a documentary about Segun, the Nigerian coach of a football team of young gypsy boys, for whom Segun is not just a coach but also a role model and even a father figure in their otherwise disoriented lives.

Nick Jones said, “It feels great to be nominated for such a well recognised student award, myself and the team put in a lot of effort into the making of this documentary so we are very happy that our work has recognition. I chose to step out of my comfort zone for this project; filming documentary which is unfamiliar territory for me and better still, doing it in a foreign country. But I believe it paid off and I loved every second of the whole experience.”

In the animation category, 'The Creep' by Thomas Malins has also been shortlisted.

Jane Arthurs, Head of Culture, Media and Drama at UWE says, “This is the longest standing and most prestigious peer acknowledgement of best practice in student film making. The Department of Culture, Media and Drama is delighted that five out of the seven finalists in the regional awards are from our own Media Practice degree.”

For over 80 years, the RTS has provided the UK's main platform for debate about the future of television. The RTS Awards are the gold standard of achievement in the television community. Each year ceremonies recognise excellence across the entire range of programme making and broadcasting skills. The RTS Student Television Awards recognise the best audiovisual work created by students as part of their course.

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