UWE Bristol celebrates Royal Television Society West of England Awards

Issue date: 23 March 2017

Jonathan Dimbleby with the BBC Inside Out West team who won in the News Coverage category

There was a strong showing for UWE Bristol at the glitzy Royal Television Society West of England awards at the Bristol Old Vic.

Hosted by Countryfile presenter Anita Rani, the ceremony honoured the best in film and television production from Bristol with 28 awards from excellence in sound and special effects to the best of drama and factual programmes.

UWE helped judge categories in animation, news reporter and news coverage. Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby, presenting the news awards, paid tribute to the work of UWE's Bristol School of Film and Journalism in producing the next generation of media professionals.

There was competition in the Digital Creativity category between two UWE alumni. Two years ago UWE BA Filmmaking student Hugo Pettitt won an RTS student award – this year he was nominated as producer on the BBC Three programme Slavery Street. He was up against Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur – and a member of the BBC digital production team was Chris Kidd, a graduate from the MA Wildlife Filmmaking. In the end Attenborough triumphed. Another UWE alumnus, Nick Maddocks, won the award for best Factual Programme or Series for his work with Testimony Films on Heroes of Helmand: The British Army's Great Escape.

Meanwhile on the night, current MA Wildlife Filmmaking students turned their skills in capturing animals in the wild to getting interviews with the winners on behalf of the RTS and other students provided logistical support.

The ceremony also saw the launch of an in-depth analysis of the film and television industries in the region by Prof Andrew Spicer and Dr Steve Presence. The report, Go West! Bristol's Film and Television Industries includes a detailed history of the sector and an examination of its contemporary formation. It reveals independent companies in the region employ around 3,700 people and generated £140.3 million in 2016. A further £17.7m of inward investment was generated by companies from outside the region that chose to use its locations or facilities at The Bottle Yard Studios. The report also analyses the distinct sub-clusters that comprise the independent television sector in Bristol – natural history, animation, factual, post-production, corporate and facilities – and identifies some key challenges they face.

RTS West of England Chair and UWE's Director of Creative Industries, Lynn Barlow, said: “This year's awards prove Bristol's film, animation and television companies are producing some of the world's most popular programmes and leading the way in digital innovation in a rapidly changing environment. It is great that UWE has such a strong relationship with the sector. We have more than 100 industry mentors who give their time to our undergraduate and post graduate students, and who deliver dozens of masterclasses and lectures every year and we have some exciting plans to ensure our relationship goes from strength to strength.”

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