YOUNG filmmakers from Swindon have been nominated for awards at a ceremony dubbed the Mini-Oscars.
Two Swindon films have received nominations at the First Light Awards, and the makers will attend a glitzy ceremony at The Odeon in Leicester Square. The event celebrates the film making talents of young people from all backgrounds and the awards will be judged by a number of famous faces, including The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman and Doctor Who actor Matt Smith.
The films – Not Just a Diagnosis and Cat in the Box – have been nominated in the Best Film by Over 13s category at the event which will be held in March.
Not Just a Diagnosis is about a young woman who experiences the nightmare of being labelled by others following a mental health diagnosis.
It was made by 30 teens from the town who were given advice from creative film company Ideal Films.
“This is entirely their film and we only lent support. They did everything from coming up with the idea to filming it,” said Keith Phillips, a director at Ideal Films.
The hope is that the production will raise awareness about the assumptions often made by people towards those who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.
“I’m not surprised they’ve been nominated. Short films are notoriously hard to make because of the short time available to build a story but the avant garde idea they’ve come up with is really clever,” said Mr Phillips.
Everyone involved in the production said they had been inspired by their experience and are delighted to have been involved.
“Doing this film made me feel really good about myself,” said Tom Morcumb, 15, who not only acts in the film but also provided the sound.
Keira George, 18, who plays the lead role, said: “It’s made me want to pursue a more creative career in performance or media. I can’t think of anything else that’s such hard work that I enjoy so much.”
As well as the ceremony, the nominees are being treated to a day out in London.
“We’re going to have a meal beforehand and then there will be a party at Planet Hollywood after the awards ceremony. It’s going to be fantastic to all celebrate together,” said Mr Phillips.
The second nomination from Swindon is Cat in a Box, an animated film about a woman who receives a mysterious package which changes her life forever.
The film was made by a group of girls, with assistance from the company Evil Twin Artworks, and it is hoped that the film can be used to inspire more girls to enter a predominately male environment.
“We wanted to try and see if we could encourage girls to get involved, because you can put on these courses for animation or film making and there’s a good chance we would just get boys,” said James Carroll, a creator at Evil Twin Artworks.
“These are a group of women, some of which are very talented and others are complete novices but it is important to show them that this is not a male orientated industry. This has shown them that they can go out there and do it.”
See the films at first lightonline.co.uk/fl-awards.