David Walliams hosts the virtual Into Film Awards 2020 David Walliams hosts the virtual Into Film Awards 2020
2020 INTO FILM AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED – Young filmmakers recognised and celebrated for exceptional talent in all areas of filmmaking – Wednesday, 11 November, 2020:... David Walliams hosts the virtual Into Film Awards 2020

– Young filmmakers recognised and celebrated for exceptional talent in all areas of filmmaking –

Wednesday, 11 November, 2020: The winners of the 2020 Into Film Awards were today announced as part of a virtual ceremony hosted by David Walliams for film education charity, Into Film, honouring the talent and hard work of young filmmakers and film enthusiasts from schools across the UK.

Host for the 2020 Awards, David Walliams said: “I love the Into Film Awards because it gives the opportunity to young people, from all kinds of backgrounds, to be a part of the film industry. As an actor, these young people are the future, and you want them to give you a job one day! Anything that encourages creativity is important, we have an amazing film industry in this country which is often ignored by politicians and we need to support it. Into Film is an amazing charity.”

The Into Film Awards, which celebrate exceptional talent from children and young people aged 5 – 19 years old who have demonstrated impressive achievements in filmmaking and film reviewing, were due to take place at a live event at Odeon Leicester Square. Due to COVID-19 developments however, the live event that would have seen over 400 school children in attendance alongside stars of the film and TV industry, could not take place.

To honour and recognise the efforts of the class of 2020, Into Film have announced the names of the winning young filmmakers, whose short films cover an eclectic range of subjects and themes including the impact of plastic usage on our oceans, gender dysphoria, celebrating your heritage, Asperger’s syndrome, living without hearing, self-improvement, and many more. The revealed winners also include recipients in the non-filmmaking categories – Film Clubs of the Year, Reviewer of the Year and Teacher of the Year. All films and supporting films in each category were filmed in 2019 and earlier this year, prior to COVID-19 distancing regulations.

Into Film CEO, Paul Reeve said:In a year during which the central ‘homes’ for Into Film’s work – schools and cinemas – have faced extraordinary disruption, we’ve constantly had to find cr eative ways to keep film at the heart of young people’s learning. So presenting a virtual Awards show seems rather fitting and I’m delighted we’ve been able to make it happen. Teachers and their pupils are among the heroes of 2020, so it feels more important than ever to recognise and celebrate the talent and achievements of our nominees and winners.”

The winners, who hail from all over the UK, each receive the coveted Into Film Award to add to their mantle or school cabinet.

The 2020 Into Film Awards winners are:

Best Film: 11 Years and Under: Sponsored by Warner Media

  • Save Bobby the Fish – Hilderthorpe Primary school Film Club, East Riding, Yorkshire

Teacher of the Year: Sponsored by Working title Films

  • Timm Dadds, Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School, Swansea

Best Documentary: Sponsored by Universal Pictures International

  • 1 Year – Ben Hodge, Merseyside

Into Film Club of the Year: 11 and Under: Sponsored by MGM Studios

  • Dunn Street Primary School, Jarrow, Tyneside

Reviewer of the Year: Sponsored by IMDb

  • Archie Barton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Into Film Club of the Year: 12 and Over: Sponsored by Lucasflim Ltd

  • Labert High School, Falkirk, Scotland

Best Film: 12-15 Years: Sponsored by Paramount Pictures

  • I’m The One – Eden Quine-Taylor, Powys, Wales

Ones to Watch: Sponsored by Eon Productions In partnership with the BFI Film Academy

  • Hedydd Ioan, Gwynedd, Wales
  • Jack Hill – Henfield, West Sussex
  • Leoreta Ratkoceri & Mahek Haque – Westminster Academy, London

Best Animated Film: Sponsored by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

  • Overload – Joe Blandamer,  Axminster, Devon

Best Film: 16-19 Years: Sponsored by Motion Picture Solutions

  • Bob’s Your Uncle – Mercer MacWilliam Hughes, Belfast

Audience Choice Award: Sponsored by Netflix
voted for by the public via Facebook and Twitter across all categories

  • Best Documentary – It’s Just Not Fair! – Castleton Primary School, Castlemilk, Scotland

The short films were created and produced by young people individually or as a wider group based in their school, college or youth group. The use of film as an educational tool was also paid tribute to in the non-filmmaking categories. More entries were received this year than ever before, paying a true testament to all those that were nominated. As well as celebrating the creative young people who have shown impressive skills in all areas of filmmaking, the Awards aim to actively seek out and encourage people from all backgrounds to participate in film and filmmaking, as a way of addressing the gender and diversity balance within the industry.

The much-loved Into Film Awards highlight the power of film in young people’s education and cultural lives and are made possible with the support of sponsorship from the UK film industry and by the BFI through National Lottery funding.

National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK.


Best Animated Film: Sponsored by Disney

  • Overload – Joe Blandamer, Axminster, Devon

Joe Blandamer, aged 19 from Axminster, Devon, created this brilliant stop-motion animation depicting what it feels like to have Autism and ride on a busy train, exploring how an everyday situation can begin to feel a bit too much. Having been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, Joe wanted to make a personal film that really shows how It feels to be on the spectrum.
The film was made entirely on his own and took a year of work as a result of Joe’s ambitious decision to animate multiple characters at a time. This meant that a couple of seconds of animating took up to two hours.
Joe has been animating for over 12 years and has always had a love of creativity. As a child, he was constantly drawing and making comics, and when he received an old computer from his aunt at the age of 7, he taught himself how to animate. Joe sent his animations to local Exeter film festival where he won first prize and has since had his films shown in festivals in Australia, Tunisia, Italy and Spain. His biggest achievements include getting over 2 million views on YouTube with his horror animation Inside the Human Lab, winning Best International Film by a Young Person under 18 at the Mice International Film Festival (Valencia, Spain), winning Best Young Filmmaker and Best Independent Film across all age categories at Leeds Young Film Festival and winning Best Teenage Film at St Neots Film Festival.

Joe said; “It feels great to be nominated because my main aim when making the film was to raise awareness for people on the spectrum and share my own story of having Asperger’s.”

Best Documentary: Sponsored by Universal Pictures International

  • 1 Year – Ben Hodge, Merseyside

Ben, 19 from Prescot, Merseyside, is currently studying Media & Performance at the University of Salford and is an amateur filmmaker/theatre maker with a particular interest in stories regarding LGBTQ+ experiences. His documentary 1 Year – previous Into Film of the Month in September 2019 – follows the start of his transition and his first year on testosterone. Ben’s film has been shown around the globe, from a UNICEF talk about youth filmmaking and creating empathy in Kathmandu, Nepal to the Geelong Pride Film Festival in Australia and a LGBT+ History Month exhibition at the University of Salford. He also has an interest in stand-up comedy and draws from his experiences as an openly gay transgender man to make light of things which otherwise might not be discussed.

Ben said; “Having my film nominated for the award is so exciting and I can’t believe that my film which started out as an idea for a Facebook post has made it this far! It’s truly an honour. Something I think that is important to note is that no two LGBT+ experiences are the same. But I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can open some level of understanding and tolerance in my audience.”

Teacher of the Year: Sponsored by Working title Films

  • Timm Dadds, Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School, Swansea

Timm’s interest in teaching was sparked over twenty years ago when he volunteered at his local primary school in Shepherds Bush, where he listened to children read. For the last seven years he has been Deputy Headteacher at Cwmrhydyceirw Primary School in Morriston, Swansea, which last year was the first English medium school in Wales to be awarded excellent grades by Estyn in all five inspection areas. Timm is always searching for engaging and exciting approaches to learning and during a course organised by Into Film Cymru, recognised the power of film in overcoming barriers for those with low levels of confidence and attainment in oracy, reading and writing. He now uses a film-based approach to improve literacy and observe the knock-on effects it has on developing digital competency skills, fostering independence and motivating pupils.
Always keen to share his experiences and extol the power of film in the classroom, Timm has worked with Into Film on developing the Film in a Fortnight and Eco Explorers resources, and is an Into Film Cymru Teacher Ambassador.

Tim said; “I believe that film has a vital role to play in making our curriculum more relevant, accessible and engaging to learners as well as preparing them for the world of work.”

Reviewer of the Year: Sponsored by IMDb

  • Archie, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Archie, age 16, has been passionate about films and the industry since watching Wall-E at the age of 4. He was a Young Reporter from 2017 to 2019, where he interviewed the likes of Emilie Clarke, Rowan Atkinson and Woody Harrelson, and is now part of the Get Into Film Network (Alumni) scheme. He’s been researching and writing film reviews since 2016 and has always picked a broad range of old and new, classic and mainstream, weird and wonderful films to write about. Archie has been home educated and independently passed his GCSEs age 14 and 15. He now has a place on Gloucestershire County Council’s Youth Climate Panel, which is about giving young people a voice on climate change issues in the area.
That Archie was able to arrange and fund his own education under such circumstances is testament to his ingenuity and drive, and to commit himself so thoroughly to producing an impressive body of film reviews with Into Film is a huge achievement and something he can be extremely proud of. We’re sure that same drive and commitment will see Archie go on to brilliant things, whether in the film industry as a film critic or in any other field he turns his hand to.

Archie said; “It’s fantastic! I feel very honoured – it’s almost as exciting as waiting for Bond 25 to arrive! I had such an amazing time at last year’s awards, and I can’t wait to be part of it again.”

Into Film Club of the Year: 11 and Under: Sponsored by MGM Studios

  • Dunn Street Primary School, Jarrow, Tyneside

Dunn Street Primary School is situated in an area of low income and high unemployment and social deprivation, and their activity with Into Film – in particular, attending the Into Film Festival – has had a profound effect on the young people at the school. Led by Jane Baxter, Dunn Street’s Into Film Club works hard to benefit pupils throughout the school. Funds raised from their tuck shop were donated to subsidise travel costs for the school’s KS1 children in Year 2 to attend an Into Film Festival educational screening. They also held an end of Academic Year ‘Oscars’ Party for the whole school and parents in which club members were presented with small ‘Oscar Trophies’ and certificates for their achievements. Funds raised during the event were used to purchase annual metro passes, enabling classes to travel on school trips, which in an area of low income, high unemployment and social deprivation has been wholeheartedly welcomed by parents.
The way Dunn Street has taken the Into Film Clubs framework and used it to not just benefit their whole school, but significantly improve the quality of life of pupils is truly inspiring.

Jane Baxter said; “I am so proud of our children for the amazing amount of work they do to improve their understanding and literacy abilities. Their generosity and selflessness to donate club funds to be used to benefit children throughout the school is simply outstanding.”

Into Film Club of the Year: 12 and Over: Sponsored by Lucasflim Ltd

  • Larbert High School, Falkirk

With an impressive 40 regular members – a figure which can sometimes rise to up to 60 – Larbert High School’s Into Film Club is extremely popular, and the school’s commitment to embedding film learning into the curriculum has seen marked improvement in pupils’ confidence and literacy skills. The pupils in attendance shape the club in many ways by hosting heated discussions, participating in competitive in-house reviewing competitions and getting hands-on with filmmaking. Most uniquely, Larbert High also have a pupil-produced podcast through which the club members share their opinions about film with the whole world. The LHS Film Club Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Podbean by searching ‘LHS Film Club Podcast’.

Club leader Kerry Abercrombie – previously nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2019 – said; “The pupils really are the leaders and they thoroughly deserve this acknowledgement for the fantastic club they have created.”
Club leader Scott McFarlane said; “It feels wonderful to see our young people being recognised for the hard work and the passion they bring to film club.”

Best Film: 11 Years and Under: Sponsored by Warner Bros. Creative Talent

  • Save Bobby the Fish – Hilderthorpe Primary school Film Club, East Yorkshire

Save Bobby the Fish – a previous Film of the Month winner back in September 2019 – sees a small fish named Bobby who finds that his friends have become trapped in a plastic-littered ocean so sets out to find a way to free them. The Into Film Club at Hilderthorpe Primary School has been running for two years, and with upwards of 40 club members, has proven incredibly popular. Young people at the school enjoy watching and reviewing films together, as well as coming up with ideas for their own films.
The children that worked on Save Bobby the Fish are in Year 5 and 6 and their ages range from 9-11 years. They chose the subject of the film themselves, as a result of their school being just a few hundred meters from the coast of the North Sea, and plastic pollution being something they all feel very strongly about. The film was created using stop/start animation, with every-day plastic the students had collected to demonstrate the impact of plastic waste on marine life. The poem that forms the narrative was written and performed by all children involved.

Club leader Rachel Lees said; “I am so proud of every single one of the children for what they have achieved and I really hope they are proud of themselves. Plastic pollution is such an important issue in the world today, and living by the coast, this is an issue that the children feel strongly about, and they have worked so hard to get their message across.”

Best Film: 12-17 Years: Sponsored by Paramount Pictures

  • I’m The One – Eden Quine-Taylor, Powys

I’m the One – a previous Film of the Month winner back in November 2019 – is a poetic and impressively staged one-shot film in which the residents of one small town demonstrate that everyone has their story and their own issues to deal with.
Eden, aged 15 from Wales has received numerous nominations and awards throughout her life. She began acting at a young age but soon discovered her real passion was in filmmaking. She wrote the script to her first short film aged 11 and completed it aged 13, going on to make six short films since. Eden is a young spokesperson for the Global CMTC-OVM Organisation, supporting people with rare skin disorders and has travelled to Amsterdam to film the charity’s annual global family event. She has been approached by another charity and hopes to make a difference through her filmmaking.

On her film I’m The One, Eden said; “We all want the right to live our lives peacefully and without judgement, and so we should all learn to be more compassionate and understanding of each other.”

Best Film: 16-19 Years: Sponsored by Motion Picture Solutions

  • Bob’s Your Uncle – Mercer MacWilliam Hughes, Belfast

Mercer – a Film of the Month winner in 2017 with his previous film, The Letter – initially made Bob’s Your Uncle as part of his Moving Image Arts A2 coursework. But it was also a deeply personal story about his own experience of rivalry and clashing opinions within a competitive sibling relationship. The film proved his most ambitious project yet, with a hugely dedicated cast putting in 10 long days of hard work to make the film. It was also very much a family project – Mercer’s mother plays Mary, and offered guidance throughout, while his 15-year-old brother Aaron plays John. Mercer comes from a creative background thanks to his parents and was exposed to cameras from an early age, shooting many short films with their support. He then went on to pursue a formal film education, which led him to take part in numerous short film courses, including those with Into Film, the BFI and the National Youth Film Academy.

Mercer MacWilliam Hughes said; “I feel incredibly privileged to be able to share this story that means so much to me with an audience of young people who might be able to relate to some of the issues that I worked through.

Audience Choice Award: Voted for by the public

  • Best Documentary – It’s Just Not Fair! – Castleton Primary School, Castlemilk, Glasgow

Made by the pupils of Castleton Primary School from Castlemilk, a deprived area on the outskirts of Glasgow. The pupils’ frustration at not having a local supermarket led them to set out to make a point in this fun rallying cry to the big supermarket chains. The nearest supermarket is over an hour on foot and nearly £10 by taxi so the school immediately saw it as a way of reaching out to big corporations to see if they would listen.

Teacher Kirsty Wilkie said; This has been a momentous year for our school and especially for P4K. Their vision and delivery of the documentary exceeded all our expectations and they have been and continue to be rightly rewarded for all of their hard work. They have displayed that we must all work together to have a voice for all and that equity is the key to better life chances. All of Castleton Primary are delighted that the children’s voice will be heard throughout the UK on the 18th March 2020……….and hopefully someone will listen! My heart is bursting with pride.

Ones to Watch: In partnership with the BFI Film Academy

Ones to Watch is an official partnership between Into Film and the BFI Film Academy, highlighting phenomenal individuals who have already achieved an incredible amount in the world of film and look set to go much further. All winners will receive a package deal from the BFI including a one-to-one session with a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive or BFI Film Programmer. BFI NETWORK Talent Executives are dedicated talent spotters based in regions across the country, with experience of helping filmmakers and storytellers develop their skills. The Executives will meet with Ones to Watch, Jack and Hedydd in their specific home regions and can offer training opportunities, signposting, and editorial expertise. Joint winners, Leoreta and Mahek, who specialise in in film programming, will meet with members of the programming team at BFI Southbank who can share their experience of audience targeting, acquisitions and the changing industry landscape. All winners will also receive a 6-month FREE subscription to BFI Player – a video on-demand streaming service from the BFI showing critically acclaimed, landmark and archive films.

  • Hedydd Ioan, Gwynedd

At just 16, Hedydd has already built up a lifetime of achievements. His love of filmmaking started at 7 when he began making simple stories with his toys. At 9 he went on a film course at his nearest cinema and after that created a small film called 00M, which went onto win a local film award. In the 6 years since then he has created 5 short films with his annual film club, formed his own production company, Trac 42, received an award from the Fragments Film Festival for his most high profile project yet (it took a year to develop the script), made a music video for his favourite band, organised an installation at Pontio Arts Centre and very recently started getting paid for his projects.

Hedydd said; It’s an honour to be chosen as one of the ‘Ones to Watch’ this year. I’m so glad for this chance to be able to develop what I love doing. It’s an honour to be chosen as one of the ‘Ones to Watch’ this year. I’m so glad for this chance to be able to develop what I love doing.”

  • Jack Hill – Henfield, West Sussex

Jack is an extremely talented filmmaker whose suspenseful thriller Suburbia won Into Film’s Film of the Month in 2019 and played at a wide variety of film festivals, from St Andrews Film Festival in Scotland to one in West Bengal, India. His other project, Small Talk played at Brighton Rocks Film Festival and explores mental health and suicide in young people – many young people reached out afterwards to say that it had really resonated and acutely expressed what they’re going through. His new film Stand-Up Stanley is about the nature of ambition and doubt, and is currently part of the festival circuit. Jack is successfully building his personal brand, and his YouTube channel currently holds 4,000 views and 12,000 minutes of watch time.

Jack said; “I am incredibly thankful to Into Film for providing me with such an opportunity, and I am honoured to be recognised alongside so many talented, passionate young filmmakers. Being a young filmmaker is hard work; it’s expensive and exhausting and exceptionally challenging, but when the audience finally watch, and it affects them in ways that are unexplainable in words but tangible through film … none of that really matters… it is all worth it.”

  • Leoreta Ratkoceri & Mahek Haque – Westminster Academy, London

This duo has proven to be passionate and ambitious about their chosen field of film programming. As well as running their own Into Film Club, they were instrumental in organising the Takeover the Future Festival, which included timetabling everything, liaising with all external partners, creating the budget and putting together all promotional activity. Other events they’ve organised include the Young Power conference and the WaterAid walk. Both recently secured work experience with Kudos TV and are running a Year 12 film production club to introduce some of the new media students to the concept of editing. In their area of North Westminster, 45% live in poverty so having two students completely support the media department is hugely beneficial to the school.

Leoreta and Mahek said; “We are absolutely delighted to win this award, just to be nominated was a real privilege and it still hasn’t really sunk in! To be recognised by Into Film alongside so many other talented young people is something which fills us with immense pride, and we are hugely excited about our future opportunities in the most exciting industry in the world.”

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Jon Dingle Editor

A film journalist, writer and a filmmaker in business for over 20 years. I am passionate about movies, television series, music and online games.