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Former Preston university graduate on Oscars shortlist

Posted on - 14th January, 2014 - 12:30pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, News
Mark Gill

Mark Gill

A former student at Preston’s University of Central Lancashire has been shortlisted for an Oscar.

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Mark Gill, who graduated in 2004, has been shortlisted in the live-action short films category.

He directed the movie The Voorman Problem featuring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander.

It follows a psychiatrist who is sent to a prison to examine an inmate with a peculiar affliction – he believes he’s a god.

Martin Freeman in the film

Martin Freeman in the film

On January 16 Mark and cast will find out if they have been nominated for an Academy Award.

Mark, who studied film production, said: “To be shortlisted for an Oscar is a feat in itself. If we get the nomination though it’s pretty safe to say I will lose my mind. That said I don’t think any film maker worth their salt sets out to make a film to win an award but believe me they do help when you get them.”

“My time at UCLan was enjoyable and gave me a good foundation for moving forward with my work” he said. “I received a lot of support while I was there, particular from Alan Keegan who believed in me from my very first film and encouraged me to get industry experience during my studies; a valuable lesson for any student.

“I also have to acknowledge Dean Summers (now course leader at Sheffield Hallam) who taught a valuable theory module which actually now underpins more of my work than anything else.”

Watch a trailer for The Voorman Problem below:

The Voorman Problem – Trailer from Mark Gill on Vimeo.

Doctor Williams is called in to examine the enigmatic Mr Voorman, a prisoner with a peculiar affliction: he believes he is a god. The doctor must decide on the sanity of Mr Voorman: is he a faker or a lunatic?

Diagnose him insane and they can ship him off to the asylum. But before making a decision, the doctor has several questions in relation to Voorman’s claim: why would a god choose to be straitjacketed in a prison, is there a way he can validate his boast and what has any of this got to do with Belgium?

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