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Film director Mike Leigh awards Westminster graduates Greenhorn Best of the Fest award

Television, Film and Moving Image 17 December 2015

The short film Charity, written, produced and directed by University of Westminster Film and Television Production BA graduates Ellie Gocher and Jimmy Dean, was awarded the Best of the Fest Award at the Greenhorn Short Film Festival 2015.

Charity was awarded the Best of the Fest award by acclaimed film director Mike Leigh.

The award-winning short film stars Charlotte Beaumont (Broadchurch), Amanda Drew (Eastenders), and Ed Birch (Sherlock).

“With a strong female lead, incredibly genuine script and carefully considered cinematography, this is a remarkable filmmaking debut by a young director we’ll be hearing a lot more about,” said Greenhorn Film Festival in an official statement.

Speaking about their success, director Jimmy Dean, and writer-producer Ellie Gocher said:

“We’re really honoured to have won the award at Greenhorn. It was an incredible experience to meet a director whose films have had such an influence on us as filmmakers, and it’s a really great feeling knowing that people are responding to our film. It was such a nice and welcoming festival, and an experience we won’t forget.”

Set in a run-down coastal town, Charity presents a bleak and barren portrait of a broken family attempting to mend itself. The understated action is given weight by a deep emotional undercurrent, the script is peppered with truthful dialogue, and the whole film is painted in a cold, lonely palette of seaside blues and greys.

Charity was also awarded the Prix de Rouen-Norwich Club Prize at the This is England Film Festival in France. Dean and Gocher’s short film Offside was also awarded the ‘XX Award: Best Female Representation Selected by Screen International’ at the Underwire Festival.

The University of Westminster’s Film and Television Production BA degree taught at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design based at the University’s Harrow Campus, is one of the best known film and television courses in the world, with an international reputation for its academic and practical teaching.

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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