Exist. Live. Rejoice., which presented an observation of life in a Lithuanian hospice, focusing on the theme of death, won the Factual category at the RTS London Student Awards. The film was created as a major final year course project and was produced by Deividas Auksciunas, Yiming Yuan, Tom Whitehouse, Sam Charlesworth and Lily Pietersen.
Commenting on their work, judges at the RTS Awards said: “Death is a difficult subject, but there was no shying away from the realities the film-makers wanted to communicate.”
Speaking about the challenges that the subject predisposed, Deividas Auksciunas, Director of the film, said: “Exploring the theme of death was emotionally devastating during my research trip when I visited the hospice alone and volunteered there for a couple of days.
“When I travelled back with Yiming (producer and sound recordist) and Tom (Director of Photography) to actually film the project, I was focused on the work, and the stress I was experiencing distanced me from the reality that I was in, at least to some extent.”
Speaking about the recognition of the film, David added: “I'm happy that other people have begun to appreciate the project. Being a student, I think this project would not have been possible without the assistance and support of our tutor Peter Hort.”
The Craft Skills award for Editing went to 1st Old Boys, produced by Natalie Sutton, Dylan Cargill, Thomas Hamblin, Ben Groves and Sassan Salamian, also from the University of Westminster.
Julie Ardrey, the chair of the London Student Awards, said: “The standard of entries for 2018 has been very high, with several jurors stating, ‘You could broadcast that tomorrow’, about many of the films we watched. This is a huge compliment and a sign of how professional many of the entries were.”