Students from the University of Central Lancashire dominated the recent annual Royal Television Society (RTS) North West Awards winning three out of four categories.
Sam Cronin, Kobir Miah and Dan Matthews won the fiction, factual and animation gongs respectively at the prestigious event held at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester, on Wednesday 26 February.
The event is a celebration of the very best student short-films and all three winners will go on to represent the North West at the national RTS Awards later in the year.
21 year-old Sam Cronin won the best fictional film award for his short-film June at the Baba Yaga. It tells the story of a young girl who sets off on a journey to rid herself of a family curse with strict instructions from her grandmother to lead away an evil spirit and never follow it. The film production graduate is now working freelance for several Manchester production companies
Sam commented: “I am really proud of the film and to be recognised in this way gives me reassurance that it’s a good piece of work. I never expected to win; I went along to the event mainly to support my fellow graduates and to network so this was an amazing bonus to the evening.”
Dan Matthews won for a factual and personal documentary about growing up with an alcoholic mother.
Kobir Miah was crowned the winner of the best animation award for his film Finding Happiness which examines the effects the loss of a child has on a couple. Kobir said: “It feels truly amazing to win this award and I couldn’t have put this film together without the help of the skilled Martin Clarke (voice actor). I feel so proud and so much more motivated to continue animating; it really does prove that working hard pays off.”
Last years animation graduates Robert Beard and Matthew French won the regional animation category in the RTS awards and in 2011 Charlotte Blacker was named the winner of the RTS national animation award for her film the Little Red Plane.
The University has also won the RTS Award for Best Factual Film for three consecutive years.
Course leader Sarah Kennedy commented: “It is fantastic that UCLan’s students have been so successful at this year’s RTS awards.
“Their achievements emulate several successful years for the University. This year UCLan managed to secure all three available shortlist places for the animation category which shows our dominance in this area.”
“UCLan won every award except the one we didn’t enter” said Head of Media Practice Alan Keegan. “It’s a fantastic achievement for the staff and students; all the hard work has been recognised and rewarded.
“I’d like to acknowledge the role that film production lecturer Linda Sever has played in supporting and pioneering the awards from day one. To have five RTS awards in the UCLan cabinet will be fantastic.”
Previous UCLan winner at the RTS awards, Mark Gill, can be found in Hollywood at the Oscars this weekend. His live-action short film The Voorman Problem was selected for an award.
Kobir Miah is featured in the picture collecting his award. Thanks to Lyndsey Boardman and Claire Harrison for the photo.