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UCLan graduate nominated for an Oscar

10 January 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Film director Mark has his eye on Hollywood

A former University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student turned film director has been hailed by Hollywood after being nominated for an Oscar Academy Award.

The Voorman Problem, directed by UCLan film production graduate Mark Gill, has been nominated in the live-action short films category. Mark’s picture is one of 120 films that originally qualified for the award before being selected as one of the final five films to receive official nominations.

Mark will now head to Hollywood in March to see if he will be the recipient of an Academy Award statuette.

The film, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, follows a psychiatrist who is sent to a prison to examine an inmate with a peculiar affliction - he believes he's a god. Mark met his producer Baldwin Li in 2008. Having finished the first Voorman draft, Mark showed it to Baldwin and he loved it.

Mark, who graduated from UCLan in 2004, said prior to the nomination announcement: “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.”

“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.”

Mark is no stranger to success after he won a Royal Television Society award for Best Student Documentary during his studies in Preston.

"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.”

The 86th Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday on 2 March.