Gnome alone earns graduates film prize

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(L-R) Josh Mullins, Shani Vizma, Mike Priest, Colin Donaldson © Royal Television Society

(L-R) Josh Mullins, Shani Vizma, Mike Priest, Colin Donaldson © Royal Television Society

The curious adventures of a garden gnome have helped a group of LJMU graduates pick up a prestigious award for their filmmaking efforts.

Mike Priest, Josh Mullins, Colin Donaldson and Shani Vizma, who all studied Film & Media Production at John Moores University, won the Royal Television Society North West Student Award for Best Drama Production.

They beat two other contenders, for their 15-minute film ‘Gnomes’, which concerns a couple who purchase a garden statue only for mysterious occurrences to happen afterwards.

One of the filmmakers, Mike Priest, 23, who currently works as a freelance videographer, told JMU Journalism about when the team collected the prize.

He said: “The feeling when we won was incredible. We really weren’t expecting to win at all, feeling like a bit of a wildcard up against some great talent from the rest of the North West. So to win was absolutely phenomenal.

“It was the first time I’d been nominated for a filmmaking award.”

The awards were given out this month at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, and recognised achievements in the categories of Factual, Comedy & Entertainment, Drama, and Animation.

The ceremony followed a half-day event produced in partnership with Salford University, which was attended by students from across the region.

The film had also been screened at Glastonbury and had even been shown at festivals in as far as America.

As regards to the future, Mike said: “The crew and I are currently working on some fresh ideas for a few short films we are hoping to produce this year and continue to enter into more competitions.”

About Ben Cummings, JMU Journalism