15th October 2013, 8:54am  (updated 23rd October 2013, 9:14am)
Students celebrate success at Royal Television Society awards
Filmmakers collect award from Mark Williams (Credit - Chris Hainstock) Student filmmakers from the University of Lincoln’s School of Media are celebrating after winning a top regional award from the Royal Television Society.

The team of final year undergraduates were named as winners in the Entertainment category at the prestigious RTS Midlands Student Awards, and they collected their prize from award-winning Harry Potter actor, Mark Williams, at a spectacular ceremony in Birmingham.

Their winning film, Dead Swan, is a fictional comedy based on misconceptions over the legal status of swans, which was created as a second-year project by students Thomas McKie, Marc Piper, Aidan Barker-Dean, Alexander Whitcombe and Bethany Hoggarth-Hill.

Speaking after collecting the award, Aidan Barker-Dean said: “It's very exciting for us all, and very unexpected. It was an honour just to be considered for nomination so to have actually won in our category is amazing. We're still having a little trouble believing it has actually happened!”

Their tutor, Chris Hainstock, Senior Lecturer in the Lincoln School of Media, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the students, and we are extremely proud of their hard work. When they suggested making a comedy about a dead swan as their fiction project, I was initially curious. What they have produced however is a tight comedy using a great deal of careful green screen work, which would not be out of place on Channel 4 or BBC3. I’m delighted that this has been recognised by the RTS Midlands Awards and I’m sure it will help them achieve their ambitions of moving into professional film and television production."

The University of Lincoln has a history of success at the RTS Midlands Student Awards, which provide leading broadcasters and filmmakers with the opportunity to celebrate the region’s emerging media talent. 2013 marks the 11th consecutive year that students from the University of Lincoln have been named as finalists, with the University returning with at least one award each year bar one.

This year, one third of the finalists for the RTS Midlands Student Awards were from the University of Lincoln’s College of Arts, with four separate films named on the 2013 shortlist.

The winners of the Midlands awards now go on to compete at the national Royal Television Society Awards, and this year’s filmmakers will hope to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln School of Journalism graduate Besma Ayari, who last among last year’s national winners.

Dr Sarah Barrow, Head of the School of Media at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our team of Media Production and Film & Television students has been named winners at the RTS Midlands Student Awards. It is extremely rare for a second-year project to win a category, and Royal Television Society accolades are among the most prestigious in the media industry, so this really is a fantastic achievement. The team worked extremely hard to produce a very entertaining film and their success is absolutely deserved - congratulations to everyone involved.”

For more information visit (www.rts.org.uk/midlands) and to view Dead Swan in full, go to (www.vimeo.com/63958755).
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