Upton Hall girl takes home ‘One to Watch’ film award

Young filmmaking prodigies were celebrated at the 10th annual Moving Image Awards at a ceremony held at the British Film Institute on 26 February, including a student from Upton Hall School FCJ.

Proud students, parents, and teachers from across the UK gathered at the prestigious event to celebrate the work of young directors, screenwriters, and producers.

The Moving Image Awards, which launched in 2014 in collaboration with the British Film Institute, recognises and celebrates the best moving image productions from students undertaking Eduqas qualifications in Film and Media across the UK.

Categories this year included Best Short Film, Music Video, TV/Film Extract, Screenplay, One to Watch, and Student Jury Prize.

Ruby Hagan, from Upton Hall School FCJ, took home the coveted One to Watch award for her film titled Laika, a short experimental animation detailing the life of one of the first creatures in space: “Laika the Space Dog”.

The judges commended Ruby on her inventive animation style combining line drawing and painting to stunning effect.

Following her win, Ruby said, “I was so shocked! I really didn’t think I was going to win – I even sat in the middle of the row because I didn’t think I’d be worrying about getting up. It has been such a gorgeous day; I’ve absolutely loved it.”

The event has garnered acknowledgement from educators and professors of film and media studies at various institutions throughout the UK, along with prominent figures within the film industry. Among this year’s guest speakers were film critic and former President of the UK Critics’ Circle Anna Smith, writer and director Lorna Tucker, feature film script editor Kate Leys and Metro chief film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh.

Larushka Ivan-Zadeh said, “Today’s award ceremony has been absolutely amazing. It’s always so inspiring! I believe the biggest challenge facing young people today is getting over their own limits and beliefs about being filmmakers. What we’ve taken away from today is that actually, the industry is an amazing place. There is enough work for everyone, you just have to really find your voice and believe in yourself. You have to believe that people really want to hear what you have to say and produce. Go for it!.”

Anna Smith said, “To the students who want to pursue a career in Film or TV I would just say, keep knocking on those doors – don’t give up! You must be very determined but also willing to learn all the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from someone you find inspirational.”

Jenny Stewart, Eduqas Film Studies Subject Officer, said, “We are delighted to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Moving Image Awards. The talent showcased this year is testament to the continued success and growth of the WJEC Eduqas Film and Media qualifications, and the hard work and innovation of young filmmakers and their teachers. We wish all entrants a huge congratulations on your achievements in film and media production.”

Ian Morgan, Eduqas Chief Executive, added, “The Moving Image Awards are always a highlight in my calendar. For a decade now, we’ve been recognising exceptional filmmaking talent, and this year was no different. Each and every entrant should be immensely proud of their achievement, no matter the result.

“We are also incredibly grateful for the unwavering support of our judges. Their dedication and commitment have been instrumental in making this event the resounding success it is today.”

Winners of the Moving Image Awards 2024

Winners:

Further awards went to:

Student Jury Prize

Cherry Ellis from Steyning Grammar School, for The Deep Mind Experience, an experimental stop frame animation, where the protagonist is taken on a psychedelic dream like journey inside his own subconscious mind.

Judges’ comments: “The judges were impressed with how the film uses contrasting images, colour and music to reflect the mundane real-world vs the colourful and beautiful world of the subconscious mind.”

Short Film:

Ricardo Sokolowska-Pedrosa from Dover Grammar School for Boys, for ‘Uninhabitable’, a short documentary about poor-quality accommodation and unscrupulous landlords taking advantage of vulnerable people in Dover.

Judges’ comments: “Excellent for all three categories: technical competence, form and genre, creativity, and resourcefulness. Great topic and excellent storytelling within the genre.”

Music Video:

Callum Doddington from St Bartholomew’s School in Berkshire for Erase/ Replace, a music video for band ‘Seize’, consisting of shots of band members as well as montage shots filling in as ‘clues’ to the bigger picture of what ‘happened’.

Judges’ comments: “A well filmed and edited music video. Well-structured with consistently excellent technical codes and editing. Very creative in the representation of the band and the enigmatic narrative. Excellent use of narrative motifs. A range of filming techniques used. Excellent lip synching and filming of actual performance.”

Screenplay:

Nathan Mitchell from Strode’s College, Egham for Motorway Pastures, a screenplay about a hitchhiker who begins to see the increasingly impossible, all while the ‘corn laughs and the sky splits.’

Judges’ comments: “Excellent horror film – clear control of time. Good visualisation and parallel storytelling. Brilliant.”

Film/TV Extract:

Harvey Miller from St Bartholomew’s School for AVA, a short pre-title and title sequence for the TV show ‘AVA’ that encompasses the essence of suspense and technological intrigue, and draws inspiration from the series ‘Humans’, ‘Utopia’ and ‘Black Mirror’.

Judge’s comments: “Pacy editing to the opening which quickly engages the audience and establishes genre. Excellent use of camerawork to set up imminent danger and suggest the foreboding narrative. Genre conventions are well employed and add to the drama of the sequence.”

The winning videos are available to view on the Moving Image Awards YouTube channel

Lead image: Ruby Hagan won the One to Watch award

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