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University film students win national award

Jamie Munro, Peter Coulthard, Kayla Walker, Joe Hesketh and Nadine Ibrahim have received the Creativity Award at the National Kodak Student Commercial Awards, seeing off competition from film schools across the country.

Sponsored by Kodak and run by Nahemi (National Association of Higher Education in the Moving Image), the National Kodak Student Commercial Awards has been running for 25 years and is increasingly one of the few opportunities students get to work with 16mm film. The production team were presented with their award at a ceremony held in the iconic Regent Street Cinema, London, by Nik Powell (Director of the National Film and Television School) and award-winning film director Sir Alan Parker whose work includes, among other films, Evita, Bugsy Malone and The Commitments.

Writer/director of the winning film, Jamie Munro, who has just finished his final year on the Digital Film Production course, said, ‘I am ecstatic to have won such a prestigious award and honoured to have it presented by the legendary director, Sir Alan Parker. For the crew and I who worked on the film, winning justifies the saying that hard work pays off. We utilised everything we had been taught on our course and put it all together on a low budget to create something of which we are extremely proud.’

Animalgamation was designed to fulfil the brief of a thirty second commercial for Office, a national high street shoe shop. The success follows previous triumphs for the University with student film Cider Mine scooping Best in Category and Best Cinematographer at the 2013 National Kodak Student Commercial Awards. With members of the team behind ‘Cider Mine’ now establishing careers within the film production industry, the 2015 team are also hoping for similar opportunities provided from their victory. Jamie Munro says, ‘The award provides us with recognition, we hope career opportunities and importantly confidence in our abilities.’

Peter Coulthard, who has just finished his third year studying Film Production and who was Art Director on Animalgamation was delighted with the team’s triumph. He said, ‘I’m utterly over the moon about winning. We were very happy with the finished advert, though I think we went in with a very healthy scepticism about getting anything. We were up against over 40 adverts from all across the country, some made with budgets which dwarfed our own so it was always going to be tricky. So knowing all that, it was an incredible moment getting the award, easily one of the happiest moments of my life. I know that the guys who won from our university a few years ago all benefited from the experience in a big way.’

Freya Billington, Film Production Course Leader, said, ‘I am absolutely delighted at the students’ win at the Kodak Awards. As always the standard was extremely high and where our students stood out was in the complete originality of their idea and its subsequent both enlightened and professional execution, which are the things we really focus on in their three years on the course. I have no doubt all members of the crew will go on and continue to do “fantastic things” in the filmmaking world.’

Featuring inflatable animals bursting from shoe boxes, watch the award-winning advertisement Animalgamation on YouTube.