University film makers scoop accolades at RTS Regional Awards

University film makers scoop accolades at RTS Regional Awards

University of Cumbria graduates have again achieved success at the Royal Television Society Awards for the North East and Border, held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel on 27 February 2016.

Stephanie Kiewel and Finn H. Drude, who graduated last year with degrees in film and television production from the university, scooped the RTS Regional Student Award: Drama.

Their film, Funkenflug – Chronicles of a Catastrophewas set and shot last summer in Stephanie’s home town of St. Georgen im Schwarzwald in Germany.

Stephanie (23) explains:

“Funkenflug is a short period drama about a horrible fire in 1865 that destroyed most of the town. It’s based on the original inquest documents from that time.

“It was the 150th anniversary of the fire last September and the town, together with the theatre and the history association, wanted to make a film to preserve this important piece of history that nearly nobody knew about.”

“So Funkenflug became one big community project. The 80 actors were all local volunteers who had never acted before, which made the film really authentic. With the help of an additional 100 volunteers behind the camera providing everything from locations and costumes to props, we managed to film the whole piece in just two weeks.”

The film is already an award-winner, coming runner-up in the Motion Arts & Theatre Design section at the prestigious New Designers 2015 Exhibition held at the Business Design Centre in London in July 2015.

Another University of Cumbria media production graduate Topher McGrillis, won the RTS Professional Excellence: Photography category as director/camera/editor of Topher McGrillis Photography, showcasing some great examples of the art of television camerawork.

Mike Mitchell, principal lecturer for film and television production at the university says:

“The film that Stephanie, Finn and their team chose as a project was highly ambitious. It encapsulated what all good films do; it was personal to them and still managed to explore the universal story (of a village’s history).

“It is so pleasing when a group who are dedicated and work hard achieve this level of recognition. The whole media arts team are very proud that they won this award and honoured to have had the opportunity to help launch their careers.”