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Oscar nominated graduate opens Lancashire film festival

07 April 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Mark returns to UCLan for annual event

An Oscar nominated University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate has returned to Preston as the guest of honour at annual Lancashire film festival.

Mark Gill, who made this year’s Oscars shortlist in the live-action short films category with his film The Voorman Problem, opened the Lancashire International Film Festival (LIFE) which brings film makers to UCLan for a two-day event of new screenings, master classes and pitching opportunities.

The film production graduate discussed the success of The Voorman Problem, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, and how he and partner Baldwin Li formed Honlodge Productions and stepped out into the world of international film.

He commented: “It’s an honour to come back to where it all started. I’ve had some great support at UCLan from tutors who championed me from the very beginning so it’s nice to return to Preston and give something back.”

“My advice to anyone starting out in the industry is to get as much work experience as possible and have a drive and passion to succeed. You will be told no ninety nine per cent of the time but eventually you will find one person who will say yes; it’s a passion for what you do that will keep you going.”

“It’s an honour to come back to where it all started. I’ve had some great support at UCLan from tutors who championed me from the very beginning so it’s nice to return to Preston and give something back.”

Visitors to the free festival on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 April were also treated to expert masterclasses, pop-up cinemas screening newly commissioned work, talks from recent award winners and workshops with industry professionals; alongside a symposium featuring some of animation’s most influential women.

LIFE Creative Director Ric Michael from UCLan’s School of Journalism and Media commented: “We are delighted to welcome Mark back to Preston to share his success story and inspire future film makers.

“UCLan has hosted this successful festival since 2010 when it was set up to celebrate 10 years of film production at the University. It is a great platform to bring some of the best new film makers from around the world together right here in Lancashire.”