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Success for UCLan at annual television awards

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Film graduates win best drama prize at North West Royal Television Society’s Student Television Awards

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has triumphed once again at the North West Royal Television Society’s (RTS) annual Student Television Awards by this time picking up the prize for Best Short Film Drama.

Four former film production students who graduated in 2017; Gaius Brown, Heather Davenport, Jodie Horn and Jake River Parker, beat off competition from other universities in the region for their film Lost in Loss, a gritty social realism piece about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The winners and nominees were announced at a ceremony, hosted by Lucy Meacock, on Monday 12 March at the Lowry Theatre, MediaCityUK.

Gaius, who co-produced the film with Jake and was the director of photography, said: “Lost in Loss is a film which Jake and I have been passionate about since the summer of 2016.  It's been such a long and emotional journey bringing this film to life and receiving such an incredible response. To win an RTS award was always such a huge goal of ours and to have it finally happen has been an overwhelming and emotional experience.

“We wanted to do justice to the stories we were told in the early days of our research when we interviewed charities and individuals who have suffered with PTSD.  To win this award feels like we have done something to bring awareness to the illness in an authentic well researched way, and we are extremely excited in anticipation of hearing more about the final.”

The work they have produced is very professional and shares a very important story; the judges were unanimous in their decision and one judge said it actually made them cry. I wish them the best of luck in the national final.

Chaired by UCLan graduate and ITV News Programme Editor Richard Frediani, the awards recognise the best audiovisual work created by students from universities and colleges across the region, in the genres of animation, drama, factual, news, comedy and entertainment and short feature.

UCLan has now won more RTS awards than any other university in the North West and the winning film will now be entered into the national final, which will take place in June.

Film production course leader Linda Sever said: “It’s fantastic to once again see UCLan students do so well in this competition and continue the success of previous years.  The work they have produced is very professional and shares a very important story; the judges were unanimous in their decision and one judge said it actually made them cry.  I wish them the best of luck in the national final.”

Richard Frediani, who is also Chair of the RTS North West Student Television Awards, said: “The RTS North West Student Awards showcase the talent and creativity in our universities and colleges. Many of our nominees will be at the heart of television and film making in the years ahead. There is a growing media sector in the North West and these awards play a role in highlighting just some of the talent produced by our educational establishments.”

Two of the winners, Jake River Parker and Heather Davenport, were also winners at last year’s North West RTS Student Television Awards for their comedy film, Headless – The Ed Shales Story.

Lyndsey Boardman | 13 March 2018