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Wednesday 19 May 2021

UCLan animator wins Royal Television Society Student Award for second year running

Jamie wins a North West category for student film produced during his time at UCLan

An animation graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won a Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Award for the second year in a row.

Jamie Walsh, who graduated last year, won the animation category at the 2021 RTS North West Student Television Awards and will now represent the region in a national final later this year. He was also nominated for best Production Design at the event.

Another UCLan student, Michael Dolan, was also nominated for best Animation as well as Best Writing and Best Editing for his three-minute film Mob Talk.

Jamie, from Baildon in Yorkshire, beat off competition from three other entries to win the award for his three-minute animation entitled Last Week, which he produced as part of his final year degree project.

The short film, which was hand drawn frame-by-frame using Adobe Photoshop, follows a young cat as he's thrown into an unfamiliar situation and has to move past his own anxiety and negative assumptions.

"“I was shocked both times to win and of course really pleased. This year’s awards were announced on a virtual live broadcast and it was a tense moment waiting to hear if I’d won."

UCLan animation graduate and 2021 Royal Television Society North West Student Television Award winner Jamie Walsh

Jamie, 23, wanted the film to reflect the way he viewed himself several years ago and the personal journey he’s taken during his time at UCLan.

It is the second time Jamie has been recognised for his work after winning another RTS North West Student Television Award in 2020 for his animation Tia, this time in the Short-Form category.

The former Guiseley School and Bradford College pupil said: “I was shocked both times to win and of course really pleased. This year’s awards were announced on a virtual live broadcast and it was a tense moment waiting to hear if I’d won.”

Jamie, who is currently working as a freelance animator for several independent companies, was encouraged to submit Last Week to the Awards panel during a work placement at the Manchester-based Kilogramme Animation Studio.

“When it’s your own project you’re so involved you can’t always be objective so having an experienced professional think it was good enough was great encouragement” he said.

"When it’s your own project you’re so involved you can’t always be objective so having an experienced professional think it was good enough was great encouragement."

UCLan animation graduate and 2021 Royal Television Society North West Student Television Award winner Jamie Walsh

Jamie will find out later in the year if he is successful at the RTS National Student Awards.

He added: “To win a national award would be insane. I think my brain would explode with excitement.”

UCLan animation course leader Mario Kkounnous congratulated his students.

He said: “We are so proud of our students and it is a wonderful experience to see them grow and be successful after they graduate. It has been a difficult time for all the students but they all rose up to the occasion, worked hard and produced work that they all should be proud of.

“I am so happy for Jamie and Michael for their success and we wish them all the very best in the future.”

Jamie’s short films Last Week and Tia and Michael’s Mob Talk are available to view.

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