Best in the West: UWE sweeps the board at RTS student awards

Issue date: 16 February 2016


Animation, Film and Journalism students from UWE Bristol swept the board at the RTS West of England Student Awards 2016, claiming the top prizes in all four categories. The winners will now progress to the national finals.

Arty Hunt was the winner in the Animation category for his environmentally aware stop-motion and digital short A Messy State of Affairs, which comments on the wasteful state of our supermarket packaging system.

Judges at the awards ceremony in Bristol on Thursday said the winning film had a strong graphic and simple look, with a political message. They agreed it was an intelligent use of animation.

Replicating the success of the previous two years, all three nominees in this category were from UWE Bristol. The other UWE Bristol nominees were Frank Harper's stop-motion short Between the Trees and Tim Allerby for his cartoon short Grave Mistake.

The Animation programme at UWE has produced a number of award winners over the past three years, including Mushroom Tea by Max Martin (2012), Concert of the Bugs by Timmy Kwee (2013), and Moonbird by Roos Mattaar (2014).

BA (Hons) Filmmaking students Joe Palmer and Lydia Johnson triumphed in the Factual category with their short film Best Before, ​​a short observational documentary about a community food waste cafe in Bristol that operates on a “pay-as-you-feel” basis.

The judges said the winning film had good narrative, was shot beautifully and had compelling subject matter.

Also nominated in this category were fellow UWE Bristol students Rosa Galvin, Tom Chetwode-Barton, Mike McCormick and Ryan Farrell for Dope Boy and Jake Vaughan, Ieuan Rees, Craig Kemp and Beth Taylor for Nothing Like It.

This year's success follows UWE Bristol students Hugo Pettitt and Hannah Bush Bailey winning last year's regional awards in the same category, and advancing to the prestigious National RTS Awards with their documentary The Invisible School.

BA (Hons) Filmmaking students Benjamin Brook, Rashida Noray, Mike McCormick and Chris Prowse were the winners in the Drama category for their short film The Way We Wander, a life affirming, sweet drama about a blossoming friendship that brings together the careful and the carefree.

Judges praised the winning film – a Bristol travelogue - for its intelligence, style and enjoyable characters.

UWE Bristol students Joshua O'Connor, Jack Hayter, Sam Neale and Josh Marchitelli were also shortlisted in this category for their film Run, along with Tom Chetwode-Barton, Jack Hayter, Jesse Embury and Rosa Galvin for Implication.

In the Comedy and Entertainment category, Sweet, Ambitious, Thoughtful by BA (Hons) Filmmaking students Christopher Cowie, Ryan Farrell, Bradley Sinclair, Ieuan Rees won a commendation. Their film was a first dates mockumentary where the course of love runs anything but smoothly.

Dr Susan McMillan, Head of UWE Bristol's School of Film and Journalism, said, “This is an outstanding result for the animation and filmmaking students at UWE. Craft skills and strong story telling are central to what we do and these awards demonstrate the level of creative talent coming out of our courses. The students and staff should be really proud that we have won in factual, drama and animation - again”.

The national RTS Student Awards 2016 will take place in London in the autumn.

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