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ARU filmmaking students steam in for double win

Published: 26 March 2024 at 15:40

A still from Eternity's Grace

Short film triumphs in two categories at Royal Television Society regional awards

Talented filmmaking students from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have won two prestigious regional awards for their ambitious science fiction drama set in the 1800s, in an unforgiving desert version of Earth.

In Eternity’s Grace, a giant steam locomotive roams the brutal planet and grants eternal life to anyone that boards. Residing on it is a sole passenger, Grace, who wanders around its halls until a young man, Adam, arrives to find his parents.

At a recent ceremony, the 13-minute film won the Royal Television Society (RTS) East Student Awards for Drama and also won the Craft award for its camerawork. The film was praised by judges, who called it “brilliantly and confidently executed technically” and also praised the editing, pace, acting and visuals. 

The production team consisted of third-year ARU students Yegor Chmilewsky, Guilherme Pires, George Cocea, Christopher Buckehnam, Alex Sole-Leris, Finnan Balfour-Mckie, Nireliain Kayembe, Emily Miles, Arianna Bruno and Alessia Mavakala. Eternity’s Grace is the students’ Graduation film for the BA Film and Television Production course.

Yegor, the director of the film, said:

Eternity’s Grace was made to challenge the concept of feasibility and showcase the possibility of creating grand worlds with an extremely limited budget. It’s an insight into what AI filmmaking could potentially become, one that preserves the artistic human integrity of its authors while enabling a filmmaker of any background to expand their storytelling and visuals dramatically. 

“I am extremely grateful for the enthusiasm, dedicated, and love of the crew.”

Hans Petch, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Production at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

Eternity's Grace is an incredible achievement. The students blended AI, green screen and live action to produce something that looked like a $100 million Hollywood movie. They worked wonderfully together, experimenting and testing techniques. 

“The set had a wonderfully collaborative atmosphere and the results they achieved were truly jaw-dropping.”