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Tuesday, 23rd May 2017


Young people with a passion for broadcasting and film-making have been celebrated at one of the region’s most prestigious media events.

The Royal Television Society (RTS) North East and the Borders Centre has announced the winners of the Young Peoples’ Media Festival (YPMF), at a ceremony hosted by BBC Senior Producer and Presenter Chris Jackson, on Wednesday 17 May at the University of Sunderland.

BBC TV’s Wolfblood star, Rachel Teate, alongside Festival Director Tony Edwards and Graeme Thompson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Sunderland and Chair of the RTS Education Committee, presented the winning teams and those commended with specially-designed trophies and certificates.

This showcase event for young filmmakers has been running in the region for more than two decades, and aims to celebrate work from students, schools and colleges.  It has also proved to be an important stepping stone for would-be producers and directors.  This year there were 26 entries, involved nearly 100 young people, and they were judged for their creativity, storytelling, craft skills, originality and the creativity shown by the entrants.

At the Senior Event, Ely King from Hartlepool Sixth Form College won the Entertainment category for his film Goner, while Alex Eves from Stratford upon Avon College collected the Drama Award for Bloom.  Chloe Rowe and Marty Murphy, with fellow Stockton Sixth Form College students Robert Jones, Maryam Murphy, Alana Whenary, Craig Buttery and Tyler Verrill, were presented with a RTS Commendation Certificate in the Factual category for Up and Coming.

The Professionally-Supported Category is designed to attract entries from those courses run for young people, who have the benefit of support from professionals in the industry. This year there were a significant number of entries with trophies awarded in Drama, Entertainment and Factual.

Tyneside Cinema collected the award for Drama.  The winning film, Friends Online, was created by Katie Hamilton, Abi Featherstone, Shervin Dibavar, Manny Prime, Samuel Bilcliffe and Amy Jobe.  Tyneside Cinema also picked-up a RTS Commendation Certificate in the Factual category for Out, which was created by Lauren McCaughey, Issy De’Ath, Jack Abernethy and Kaia Allen.

The Factual category was won by Northern Stars for the film Ashleigh, which was created and produced by Francesca Colpitts-Swaby, Lottie Riley, Sophie Paul, Aniyra Chan, Samuel Bilcliffe and Amy Jobe.

Callum Smith, Kieron Dawes, Eddy Watson and Brad Mattinson from Carlisle College were presented with a RTS Commendation Certificate in the Entertainment category for their film P.O.L.I.S.H.

The awards took place in the digital cinema of the David Puttnam Media Centre on the University of Sunderland’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s on the banks of the River Wear.  In addition to the University of Sunderland, other sponsors for the event were Gateshead College, Teesside University, Northumbria University and the RTS.

Graeme Thompson, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, and Chair of the RTS Education Committee, said: “I am delighted we were able to host more than 100 young people and their teachers at this event.  As a university we are passionate about creativity and believe young people should be given every encouragement to grow their talent. Film, television and digital content production are part of the fastest growing sector of the UK economy and it is important young people recognise the opportunities ahead for creative careers.  Bringing together the students of the future with the professionals of the present was a real privilege.”

Tony Edwards, Festival Director, said: “The Young Peoples’ Media Festival allows us to showcase the creative talent of young people, not only in the North East but beyond.  It also provides an opportunity to give reward, recognition and encouragement for their creativity and commitment.  We have seen some truly exceptional work this year and it was interesting to see the increase in entries for the Professionally-Supported category.  This clearly shows that, for young people, media represents an outlet for their creativity even when this is not available from their educational institutions.”

At the Young Peoples’ Media Festival, Tony Edwards also announced that he is stepping down as Festival Director.  His current deputy, Victoria Griffin, will take over.  On this Tony comments: “This will be my last year as Festival Director. It has been a rewarding seven years, where I have witnessed so much talent in young people.  I know that Victoria Griffin understands the importance of encouraging young people into the industry, and I look forward to seeing where she will take the awards in the future.”

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Young people with a passion for broadcasting and film-making have been celebrated at one of the region’s most prestigious media events.