Baroness Benjamin praises students in Parliament film competition

11 March 2011

Baroness Floella Benjamin presented the finalists and winners of a young people’s film competition with certificates at a ceremony at the Lord Speaker’s House on Friday 10 March. 

Parliament’s Education Service Lights, Camera, Parliament! competition asked young people aged 11-16 to think of a law they would like to make, and then to make a short 3-minute film about it. In all, 60 films were submitted – six made the final.

Competition winners

The winning film was produced by students from the Pauline Quirke Academy in Cheltenham. It was called ‘Sophie’ and proposed a ban on “size zero” models from the covers of magazines. Sue Day, a teacher at the Pauline Quirke Academy, said “We feel proud that all the students have chosen an issue that they feel really close to”.

Before she found out of her team’s victory, student Hannah Davis said that “We’re all really proud that we’ve got this far.” But they were to go even further... After the win, teacher Vikki Chandler explained that “we were all feeling our way through, but we ended up going all the way!”

She and her team have won a trip to Pinewood Studios, which was provided by First Light in association with Pinewood. The runners-up, Manchester Creative Media Academy for Girls, made an innovative and effective film on bullying called ‘Who Has Power?’, and won a young filmmakers kit for their school.

Competition finalists

The finalists explained their ideas to the judges: Baroness Floella Benjamin, Luciana Berger MP, Dr Emma Jane Watchorn, Parliament’s Education Service Manager and Nathan Rimmer, FILMCLUB Young Ambassador.

Baroness Benjamin described all the finalists’ entries as “Excellent, thought-provoking and challenging”. She added that the films highlighted “all the things that young people represent, and the more opportunities we give to them to express themselves, the better for society.”

Luciana Berger MP said that it had been “incredibly difficult to pick a winner – all the entires were of such high calibre.” Nathan Rimmer, judge and FILMCLUB Young Ambassador, described the standard as “excellent” because all the young people involved “really knew what they were talking about.”

Donna Whitcliffe-Smart, a teacher from the Bristol Metropolitan Academy said that the competition had been an “absolutely fabulous experience for the young people who took part” and was pleased that her group produced what was “very much their film”.

The winning films were chosen for their message, the originality or creativity of style and the strength of the point that they make. The finalist groups were from the following schools:

  • Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, Dorset.
  • Manchester Creative Media Academy for Girls, Manchester.
  • Pauline Quirke Academy, Cheltenham.
  • Bristol Metropolitan Academy, Bristol.
  • Parmiter’s School, Watford. Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form, Hackney.

The six final films can be viewed at Radiowaves

Image: Parliamentary copyright 

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