Niall Morison Macrae, the shortlisted Achmore filmmaker, will hear in two weeks if he has picked up the Best Postgraduate Factual prize at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Awards.
The prestigious TV industry awards ceremony takes place in London’s British Film Institute Southbank on Friday, June 23. And Niall’s heartwarming movie about his granny is one of only three entries shortlisted in the category. And one of only three Scottish student filmmakers to make the cut for the awards.
And So It Was, made with fellow University of the West of Scotland graduate Tabita Knoblauch, is, on the evidence so far, striking a chord with a much wider audience than was first envisaged.
Indeed, a large part of the appeal of the short film is that it contains universal themes, ageing and loss.
It focuses on Niall’s granny, Norah Morrison - the longest-serving post office worker in Scottish history – reflecting on what’s to come in her remaining years following her sister’s death.
Based in Ayr, the cinematographer and video, Niall already has several film projects under his belt, including Straight Girl, a portrait of Leeds-based electronic musician Remy Enceladus, Wellied, a 48-hour film competition entry that won an audience award, and a promo for the Scottish Government’s Baby Box scheme.
The RTS Student Television Awards, sponsored by Kinetic Content, are designed to encourage and nurture film student talent.
The awards offer an opportunity for students to put their creative talents before the critical eye of professionals, win recognition for their skills, and even “audition” for a first job in the television, media and film industry.
Sinead Rocks, Channel 4 Managing Director, Nations & Regions Chair of the RTS Student Television Awards, said: “The RTS Student Television Awards have a proven track record in discovering and nurturing the next generation of world-class talent in video production, filmmaking and television journalism.
“They provide a fantastic opportunity to have your ambition and creativity recognised and celebrated by top media professionals and, crucially, for you to sell your skills to people at the very top of the broadcasting industry.
“Put simply, winning an RTS Student TV Award is a real badge of honour on any CV and one that is taken incredibly seriously by professionals.”
The award sponsors, Kinetic Content, are based in Los Angeles and create content for the global market. They make the global smash hits Love Is Blind, The Ultimatum, and Perfect Match, each of which has earned Netflix’s number-one ranking in territories worldwide. They also make Married At First Sight and work with multiple partners, including Netflix, Lifetime, Amazon’s Prime Video, Hulu, Bravo, E!, ABC, HBO Max, and Peacock.
Meanwhile, the MA Filmmaking course at the University of the West of Scotland is no stranger to award success. Students and alums are regularly in contention for prestigious industry awards, including the BAFTAs and Grierson Awards – widely regarded as the Oscars of the documentary world.
Recent graduation films have won screenings at the Glasgow Short Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Many other former students have landed high-profile jobs working on household-name TV programmes and films or are producing critically-acclaimed films and documentaries independently.
Image credit - Niall Morison Macrae via LinkedIn