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Television award success for Northumbria students and staff

2nd March 2020

Students and Academics from Northumbria University were once again successful at the prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) regional awards this year.

The RTS awards, hosted at the Hilton, Gateshead, celebrate some of the best talent from the region’s television and media industry, attracting over 400 guests at a star-studded red-carpet ceremony.

Caption:Senior Lecturer Ellie LandSenior Lecturer Ellie Land won the award for Animation, Graphics and Titling for her animation direction and design on the documentary, Irene’s Ghost.

The film, produced by Forward Features and Tyke Films, used both filmed footage and animation to tell the story of Director Iain Cunningham’s mother Irene, who died when he was just three years old.

The use of animation allowed people’s memories of Irene to be portrayed in a way which was sensitive and thought provoking.

Together, Ellie and Iain won the Non-Broadcast Factual award for their work on Irene’s Ghost.

After a very successful UK wide cinema tour and international film screenings, Iain and Ellie are thrilled to share the film with a wider audience.

The award-winning film will be broadcast on Sky in May and is now available to buy or rent. 

Irene's Ghost is part of Ellie Land's ongoing research into practice methods in Animated Documentary. You can find more information on her research and practice at

There was also success for Northumbria graduate Christopher Yarwood, who won the Student Craft Award for Writing.

Christopher was the creative writer, director and editor of Stake Out, which also involved Northumbria students Stuart Raine, who produced the film; and Tom Cox, who was the cinematographer.

The film is based on two hitmen on a stakeout for a crime syndicate, who find their situation changes when their target turns on them.

Speaking about his win Christopher said: “I feel incredibly proud to be part of this project. Everyone who contributed brought with them their own artistic values which really helped my script come together.

“I am very happy to have received this award and it has inspired me to take on more ambitious and braver scripts in the future.”

James MacDonald, Programme Leader in Film and TV Production at Northumbria University said: “We were really pleased to see Northumbria Film and TV Production films nominated for RTS awards again this year.

“Students who have really engaged with both their modules and the staff were able to produce some very strong and distinctive projects.

“It’s always encouraging to see very good creative and technical work with high production values being produced by graduating students.

“As a university the focus is to help students develop their critical, creative and imaginative skills so that they’re able to produce really high-quality work, as evidenced by their success!”

Find out more about the Film and TV Production BA (Hons) course at Northumbria University.

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