Young filmmakers from Teesside University have been nominated for a prestigious Royal Television Society award.
Final year BA (Hons) Film and Television students Adam Mann and Srijith Jalapathy, known as Sri, assembled a crew of students and friends to work on the film Shed, which examines themes of love and loneliness.
Shed, which has already been screened at a variety of festivals, has been shortlisted for two Royal Television Society (RTS) award categories – Best Undergraduate Drama and Best Production Design in an Undergraduate Drama.
The film’s producer Adam, 22, who is originally from Newcastle, came up with the initial concept for Shed, asking Sri to come on board as director.
Adam said: “When we started the film, we wanted to produce something which would be seen by lots of people and not just a study project.
“We also wanted it to have a running life of at least one year and we’ve succeeded in doing that and taking it further too with festival screenings and the RTS nomination.”
International student Sri, 21, was originally studying engineering in India but felt inspired to move to Teesside and switch focus.
He said: “I went to an educational fair in India and spoke to a Teesside University representative who inspired me to change direction.
“Although I was studying engineering at that time, I wasn’t passionate about the subject. I have always been interested in telling stories and film and television are the best mediums to do that.”
Adam said: “The lecturers teaching us all have industry experience which is important. It’s the type of degree which the more you engage with as a student, the more you get from it.”
Sri added: “Studying for this degree is helping me to follow the career path I have always wanted to take. It has helped to make me into a better filmmaker and to prepare for the outside world and find a job in the industry.”
The full crew for Shed includes students now in the second and third years of the BA (Hons) Film and Television; director of photography Ben Driver, sound recordist Sam Smith, editor Simon Thompson, production designer Clare Kirkpatrick, assistant director Marta Wyderka, production co-ordinator Kerry Stainsby and photographer Daniel Angioy. Natasha Graham, who composed the soundtrack, is now completing the first year BA (Hons) Television and Film Production, having worked on the film before starting her degree at Teesside.
Adam said: “In the film, the main character Jim is re-evaluating what is important to him and dealing with his own mortality.”
Ben Young, Senior Lecturer in Media in the University’s School of Design, Culture & the Arts, said: “Everyone is really proud of Sri, Adam and the team for their Royal Television Society nomination.
“What is really remarkable is that they achieved such a high creative standard in only their second year and had the foresight and tenacity to ensure that their film had a strong afterlife at multiple film festivals around the world.
“It shows a rare combination of creative maturity and strategic professional intent, exactly what we encourage on the film and television production degree.”
The student winners of the 2017 Royal Television Society North East and Border Centre awards will be announced on Saturday 25 February at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel. Those student projects then qualify for the national RTS national student awards held in June.