Chance of a lifetime for young Herefordshire filmakers

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First published in News

THREE young people from Hereford - Becky Doctor, Flo Knoyle and Ben Harrison - are about to embark on the course of a lifetime having been selected from hundreds of applicants from across the country to attend a two week residential filmmaking course at the National Film and Television School (NFTS).

Sixty six of the nation’s most promising young filmmakers will take part in a two-week film academy in which they will work with top industry professionals to make short films. They will also have masterclasses with top auteur and commercial filmmakers and learn a craft specialism, such as directing editing or sound.

Becky, Flo and Ben have all been part of The Rural Media Company’s BFI Film Academy, where they have already worked with Oscar and BAFTA award winning professionals including cinematographer Chris Menges, editor Tony Lawson and director Esther May Campbell, then gone on to make their own short films which will premiere on Wednesday, March 5 at Borderlines Film Festival.

“The film academy has been fantastic and this is the perfect icing on the cake”, said Becky, who wants to specialise in directing and cinematography. “Meeting Chris Menges, Tony and all the other professionals has been amazing and we’ve created a great short film. I’m really looking forward to the residential, it’s a brilliant opportunity”.

Ben specialises in sound recording and has spent hours working on his own films: “I was so pleased when I found out, it will be great to work with other young filmmakers from across the country." Flo wants to specialise in editing, the film she created as part of her sixth form film studies course work was singled out by examiners for high praise: “I burst into tears when I found out. I’m so excited - it’s going to be fantastic.”

The BFI Film Academy is a new workshop programme designed to train the next generation of young British filmmakers and The Rural Media Company is one of only two companies in the West Midlands delivering a course. “Our academy has been incredibly successful”, said artistic director Adrian Lambert. "We’ve had fantastic tutors and some very talented young people. The tutors at the NFTS loved coming to Hereford and thought all of our students were absolutely fantastic. Becky, Flo and Ben have all done incredibly well to get on to the residential, it was incredibly competitive and is a heck of an achievement.”

The three short films made by this year’s Academy students can be seen at Borderlines Film Festival on Wednesday at 2pm, followed by a Q & A about working in the film industry with renowned film editor Tony Lawson and cinematographer Richard Greatrex (Shakespeare in Love). Young people aged between 16-19 can find out about the next Rural Media/BFI Academy starting later this year by visiting ruralmedia.co.uk

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