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UCLan grabs multiple prizes at Royal Television Society Awards

27 February 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Students win three out of four categories.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has dominated the annual Royal Television Society (RTS) North West Student Awards by triumphing in three out of four categories.

The three graduates; Sam Cronin, Dan Matthews and Kobir Miah were crowned the winners of the fiction, factual and animation awards respectively at the annual event held at the Lowry Theatre, Manchester, on Wednesday 26 February.

The event is held each year to celebrate the very best of student short-films in the region and all three winners will go on to represent the North West at the national RTS Awards in the spring.

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 21-year-old film production graduate who is now working freelance for several Manchester production companies said: “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.”

“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.”

Fellow film production graduate Dan Matthews won his prize for a factual and personal documentary about growing up with an alcoholic mother and 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.

The 21-year-old 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.”

UCLan is no stranger to success at the RTS awards; last year animation graduates Robert Beard and Matthew French won the regional animation category 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.

Sarah Kennedy, the course leader for the undergraduate and postgraduate animation courses, commented: “It is fantastic that UCLan’s students have been so successful at this year’s RTS awards.

“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.”

“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.”

A previous UCLan winner at the RTS awards, film production graduate Mark Gill, was shortlisted for an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards for his live-action short film The Voorman Problem.