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Thursday, 24th March 2016

The RTS NI Student Awards were held at the Black Box, Belfast, on March 22

The third Royal Television Society NI Student Awards took place on March 22 at the Black Box in Belfast. Over 100 guests joined host Tara Mills (BBC) and keynote speaker Brooke Allen (BBC) to toast the rising stars of the creative industries and celebrate the key relationship between the creative sector and the education section. In recognition of this both the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, and the Minister for Learning and Employment, Stephen Farry MLA, attended the event and presented awards to the winners.


Supported by DCAL as part of Creativity Month, the RTS NI Awards exist to recognise the importance of education within the television and media industry. Last night highlighted how crucial it is that the sectors work together as the MLAs and industry figures joined tutors in supporting the student winners and nominees. Entries came in from almost every Further and Higher Education college across Northern Ireland but it was QUB who took home three out of four awards last night, with UU enjoying success in the Animation category.

The winners in each category are:


Drama Award sponsored by Westway Films
Connor Brennan and Rebecca Kelly
The Mountain
Queen’s University Belfast

Comedy and Entertainment Award sponsored by Stellify Media
Gerard Donnelly and Nathan Somerville
Queen’s University Belfast

Factual Award sponsored by Crawford McCann

Conn McKermott
I Call to the Living and Mourn the Dead
Queen’s University Belfast

Animation sponsored by Performance Film and Media Insurance
Dualta Donnelly
Ulster University


The RTS NI are very grateful for generous support from DEL and DCAL in growing these awards year on year.

Minister Farry said: “I am delighted to be able to participate in the Royal Television Society’s student awards and have been very impressed by the high standard of the work screened this evening. The Creative Industries are one of the major growth areas of Northern Ireland’s economy and this event highlights the creative talent of our students. I wish them success in their future media careers.

Minister Ní Chuilín said: “It is vitally important that creativity is celebrated at local level.  Events like this are vital to recognising success which is why I feel it important that my Department contributed to this event.


“As Minister, I recognise the key role that creativity and arts play in improving the economy, our society and the lives of those in the most disadvantaged areas of our communities.  The creative and cultural sectors are increasingly recognised across the world as important drivers of wider economic and social innovation – helping individuals and communities to overcome barriers to realising their potential.


These are exciting times in the Creative sector and I congratulate the RTS for providing valuable training and networking opportunities for creative students who will hopefully go on to become commercially successful producers and make a significant and profitable impact in the sector.


“By celebrating innovation and creativity through these awards, we are not only supporting the work created by young people but we are celebrating their entrepreneurial endeavours while acknowledging the fact that education plays a crucial part in shaping their skill base.


“This event is taking place during Creativity Month which is an initiative of my Department in partnership with CultureNI and the Nerve Centre to celebrate creativity and the Creative Industries and I wish to send my congratulations to all the very deserving winners.”

The winners of the RTS NI Student Television Awards will be automatically put forward to the national RTS Student Media Awards which will be held in London later this year. At these awards they will compete against follow media students at a national UK level. 


Michael Wilson, Chair of RTS Northern Ireland Centre, commented:


“We are now in the third year of the RTS NI Student Awards and I am delighted to see that the ceremony has become a much-anticipated date in the diary of both the industry professionals and students and tutors across NI. These awards offers the opportunity for talented media students from across Northern Ireland to showcase their work to some of the creative industry’s biggest names. Winning an RTS NI Student Television Award will give these students a real profile in the industry as well as a recognised accolade to put on their CV.”


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The RTS NI Student Awards were held at the Black Box, Belfast, on March 22