UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 03 JANUARY BA (Hons) Film and Animation had a fantastic night at the regional Royal Television Society Awards, as two of their students were nominated and then both won their respective categories! BA (Hons) Film and Animation Find out more Nina Parker Noon won the Student Animation category for her film The Cosmonaut, whilst Andrea Haenze won the Student Factual category for her film Byc Moze. BA (Hons) Film and Animation tutor Matt Cusworth told us why he thought Nina and Andrea had done so well: The night started with a room full of nervous student nominees and proud tutors, all sat alongside Midlands TV royalty, whilst two renowned Midlands TV personalities, Nick Owen and Bob Warman hosted the event. As the winners were announced, starting with the Animation category, Nina was clearly over the moon that her space themed animation had been recognised with an award. Asked what the award means to her and her future career, she said: “Well it’s a good ice-breaker – I’m now an award winning film-maker!” Next in line was Andrea, who was visibly shocked as her name was announced. After posing for a few photos with their well-deserved awards, Nina told me a little more about her project and her plans for the future: “My film is called The Cosmonaut and is about a lonely Russian cosmonaut who is stationed on the moon and just wants to go home. The technique was a tricky hybrid of 2D digital animation, paper cut-outs and stop motion animation. There wasn't much to reference from when researching this technique so part of the challenge was doing this technique as efficiently as possible!” “Since graduating I have been dotting around a few different studios in the West Midlands, doing some internships and paid work, and mostly freelance bits when they have it in. I’ll just keep networking with more and more studios and keep working as an animator.” Andrea’s documentary was not what she originally planned to create: “It's quite funny thinking about my film now, because originally I was opposed to making it! I was working on a different idea at the time, which was not really working out and my tutors had the idea for me to create a documentary on the Birmingham Churches Night Shelter, which I had been helping out with at the time. I started helping out in the evenings as a Polish speaker, since many of the men happened to be Polish and originally I really didn't want to create a film about them because I didn't want to cross the line of taking advantage of them. But the more I heard their stories, the more I just wanted to tell them. And that initially was my goal, to have them share their stories and for people to see them as human beings.” “I'm still in contact with the men in the film so I would love to have the opportunity to tell them how much of an impact their stories have made on people. Though it breaks my heart to not have the privilege to tell Sławek about the impact his story has, since he sadly passed away in May. He was a poet and an artist and I know he would've appreciated seeing the final film and his own powerful story, I think it would've given him a lot of hope...” Nina had some great words of advice for students starting out on their Film and Animation course: “I would say just try everything! Go to every opportunity there is, like a talk or masterclass or anything, as you never know when it might be useful or inspire ideas. And remember that animation takes time to learn and become good at. I never think you can master animation, as the beauty is there's always more to learn, but I was quite stubborn in first year and would get frustrated when I'd been animating something for half an hour and it didn't look good! So just keep making as many things as you can, in many different styles until you find the one you like and are good at.” Andrea echoed these words of advice and encouraged students to experiment: “My advice would be, make mistakes. This is something that we were told at the very start of our first year and I still feel like I didn't take as many risks or made as many and mistakes as I could have. But it is so important to do because the knowledge you gain from having to sort through your own mistakes is just wonderful! It truly develops you as a filmmaker and creator and it's just so necessary and brilliant!” Nathan Tromans, Head of School for Visual Communication had the last words of the evening: Take a look at our Graphic Communication award winners here!