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Awards put film students and graduates in spotlight

Published: 23 March 2023 at 10:00

Two ARU students collecting their Royal Television Society awards

ARU cinematic projects win prizes at Watersprite Film Festival and RTS East awards

Current Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) students and recent graduates have received acclaim at highly competitive film-making awards.

Recent ARU graduate Agata Kazmierczak has beaten off strong competition to win the top prize for Cinematography at the 2023 Watersprite Film Festival – an illustrious international event which this year received 1,500 submissions from 106 countries.

Agata, who now works for the BBC, received the recognition for her work on Roots, a film produced as part of her BA (Hons) Film and Television Production course at ARU. This is the latest prize she has received for the project, having also secured the 2022 Bill Vinten University Award for Cinematography.

ARU graduate Agata Kazmierczak with her award for cinematography at the 2023 Watersprite Film Festival

Sharing her pride that a low-budget student production could scoop such a prestigious award, Sophie Jackson, BA Film Production Course Leader, said:

“I am very excited about this win for Agata, her camera team and the director of Roots, Ugne Jurgaityte. It really goes to show that a striking film comes from the creative vision and determination of the people behind it rather than the money behind it!”

There has also been a big win for current students Martha Wallam, Kai Wissler and Chloe Kelly at the Royal Television Society East Student Television Awards 2023. The trio’s work on Therapy saw them receive first place in the ceremony’s Entertainment and Comedy Drama category.

ARU students Martha Wallam, Kai Wissler and Chloe Kelly receiving a Royal Television Society East Award

Therapy was produced as part of a collaboration between ARU and Shakespeare’s Globe, which saw seven short films created by students for a project reimagining the Bard’s work for a modern, digital world.

Discussing the ongoing success of the collaborative venture, Dr Will Tosh, Head of Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, said:

“Everyone at Shakespeare’s Globe is absolutely thrilled with Therapy’s win and we send our warmest congratulations to Martha, Kai and Chloe – and wish them all the best for the next stage. 

“It was a thrill to see a sparkling comedy short spun out of Much Ado About Nothing, and it’s a testament to the students’ creativity and talent that they found such a fresh and dynamic take on the play. There’s clearly something in the water at ARU as all of the films we have co-commissioned as part of this project have dazzled.”

Announcing the results, the RTS judging panel praised the film for a “wonderful script, clean simple and clever design, and a great ending”. Therapy, they noted, is “fantastic in every way; conceit, direction, camera, design, performance and music”.

After winning the top RTS prize, Kai Wissler, BA Film Production student, said:

“I'm so thrilled and incredibly thankful to the Royal Television Society for awarding us this trophy. It’s been such a profound experience working on this film alongside Martha, Chloe and the entire team.

“I also really want to thank ARU, and especially my course leader Hans Petch. It's such a privilege to be part of this life-changing course.”