Films by our students have turned heads at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Southern Centre Student Awards, taking the top prizes in the Short Feature and Factual categories.
Final-year BA (Hons) Film Production student Tudor Massaci stood out for his film Nymphs, a factual piece exploring life as we live it, while recent graduate Antonis Kitsikis received his prize for Harvest in New Life, which explores how illiteracy impacts a traveller community in Athens.
“It feels beautiful that this story has reached the hearts and the minds of many people and can still be appreciated for its aesthetic value,” says Antonis, who is originally from Greece, on how it felt to receive an award.
“My work tells the story of the gypsy community of New Life in Athens, and how they risk their lives to collect recyclable materials to make illicit money. Illiteracy is what leads their community into illegal recycling.”
Casting his grandmother in the film, Tudor, who is originally from Bucharest, Romania, explains the personal and emotive undertones created throughout his film, Nymphs. “It was very challenging dealing with a 12-location and 18-character film project and still managing to build a narrative from a very personal story without being too transparent, I hope. But to be honest, I am most proud of my grandmother, who agreed to spend half a day filming on location, although she practically never leaves her house these days as she suffers from Alzheimer’s. She had a great time, was focused and nuanced - like a real actress, at 85!
“I feel very happy for the recognition and the motivation the RTS Award gives me and many people who worked together with me on Nymphs. It truly feels great!”
Creating award-winning work was both challenging and rewarding in equal measures for the students. “A lot of preparation, lots of determination and great team spirit goes into it,” Tudor explains. “I don’t know how we would have coped with the fast-paced work schedule, the many locations, which were key to the plot, the DIY production, the cold, or the shoe-string budget without this enthusiasm.”
Antonis adds: “It was a journey. I got lost a lot of times then I found my way and got lost again. I think this is what happens to every filmmaker, to every living human being. That's the fun.”
This year’s RTS awards marked a successful year for UCA, with students securing nominations in every area and a total of seven films shortlisted across the awards’ five categories.