News Column

Birdman film flies off with national award

May 22, 2014

Two recent graduates from Southampton Solent University are flying high after winning a national Royal Television Society (RTS) award for their short film Birdman. Sam Clarke and Matt Farrant were awarded the best student factual production award at the RTS Student Television Awards 2013 on Friday 19 May at a glittering ceremony in London.

Matt, who has been working as a camera assistant on commercials, music videos and feature films since graduating, says: “The film was a labour of love and it’s great that our work is being recognised in this way by the industry.”

Featuring Sam’s uncles Alan and Terry, Birdman weaves two compelling narratives together into a touching tale of brotherly love and Spitfires.

The documentary follows keen flyer Alan and his brother Terry - who has been given a new lease of life after Alan donated his kidney. The film finishes with Alan taking his brother up in one of his planes.

“It was great working with my uncles on the film, says Sam. “It was challenging to make, both technically and emotionally, but well worth it. They love the finished piece.”

Commenting on the documentary the judges said: “The film captured a simple and moving story with visual ambition. During the making of this film the producers discovered a different story to the one they had anticipated. The panel commended their drive to follow this new path to produce a more rewarding character driven film.”

The talented duo - who both graduated with First Class honours in BA (Hons) TV and Video Production last year – beat two other shortlisted entries from the University of South Wales and Duncan of Jordonstone College of Art and Design.

The ten-minute documentary was the talented duo’s final-year project. Course Leader Stuart Ray says: "We always knew Sam and Matt had produced a really superb short documentary and we are delighted that their hard work on the project has been recognised in this way.”

Chaired by Patrick Younge, Founder and Director of WeCreate Associates Ltd and Former Chief Creative Officer for BBC Productions, the Awards celebrate the best in student television from across the UK.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by comedian and actor Joel Dommett on at the BFI Southbank, London.

If you see yourself making award-winning films and documentaries, it’s not too late to apply for one of our specialist television and film degrees. Visit to find out more.

-Ends- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8031 9040 or Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The university was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2013 poll of students. It has been awarded ‘Gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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Source: Cision

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