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Royal Television Society recognition for Northumbria film makers

29th February 2024

Rising stars from Northumbria University have won the award for Best Student Drama at the prestigious Royal Television Society Awards for the North East and Borders.

At a glittering ceremony held on Saturday, and attended by TV favourites such as Vera’s Brenda Blethyn and author Ann Cleeves, a group of talented students and graduates were honoured for their work on the suspenseful, dark drama, SWINE.

The short film was created and co-produced as part of a dissertation project by Film graduates Ben Smith and Nathan Goodison, with support from current third year student, Chiara Ingravallo, and a wider team who all played their part in lighting, sound and editing.

Caption: Chiara Ingravallo and Nathan Goodison from Northumbria University collect the award for Best Student Drama at the Royal Television Society Awards for the North East and Borders.Nathan, who attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the team, said: “It’s an absolutely incredible honour for our dissertation film to receive this award from the Royal Television Society. Ben and I are so thankful to all the amazing crew and actors who made the project a reality along with the fantastic (BA) Film tutors such as James MacDonald, whose guidance and expertise was invaluable to our production.

“The hands-on learning and practical experience with industry standard equipment has been incredible and is just one of the reasons why the course at Northumbria is among the best in the UK for film, production and photography.”

Chiara, who supported the film as sound designer during the second year of her studies, said: “This win was totally unexpected but I am so proud of the whole team. I’m working on my own dissertation film at the moment and this has really motivated me to keep pushing to make it the best it can be. The whole experience has been the most incredible opportunity.”

As well as co-producing SWINE, Ben also took on the roles of writer and director, while Nathan was director of photography. Chiara led on sound design with graduates Gareth Matthews as sound recordist, Louis Wild as composer, Chris Anstee as editor, Matthew Walters as assistant producer and Dexter Johnson on lighting.

The team also had support from graduates Laura Moscrop, who has already gone on to work as a camera assistant with BBC Studios, amongst others, and Ariadne Vessaoker, who now works as an assistant producer for video agency Ether/Awe.

SWINE was shortlisted for recognition alongside another film directed by Northumbria graduate, Michal Špitálský. The Garden of Eden: Imrich's last years of gardening was in the running for an award in the Best Student Documentary category.

Assistant Professor in Film at Northumbria, Cecilia Stenbom, attended the awards evening and said it was a proud moment for all involved. The University’s Professor Katy Shaw, who is Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Creative Communities programme, was on hand to present one of the awards.

All student winners at the star-studded regional awards event, which also celebrated news, drama, current affairs and factual programmes, will find out in April if they’ve made the shortlist for the national Royal Television Society Student Awards, expected to take place in June.

Assistant Professor Robert Jefferson, Programme Leader for Film at Northumbria, said: "Many of our students go on to become leading lights in the film and TV industry, and winning awards like this helps enormously as they work to build their profiles in the industry.

“Anyone who sees SWINE will recognise it is easily comparable to dramas with much bigger budgets and resources so huge congratulations should go to all involved.”

Northumbria University is ranked second in the UK for film, production and photography in the 2024 Guardian University League Table. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk to discover more about studying Film at Northumbria.

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