Smart Screen Creative Awards

British filmmaking and industry is definitely riding the renaissance wave: directors such as Steve McQueen and Andrew Haigh being nominated for BAFTAs and Oscars. The films that are being made are diverse some with small budgets but mighty voices such as Theeb, produced by an English producer, to the biggest and most sought after films being shot here – you may have heard of it – Star Wars.

So it comes as no surprise that the inaugural Smart Screen Creative Awards for students at the Met Film School in November confirms that UK film industry will have a wealth of stories and maintain its creative excellence for years to come. The Met School was established 14 years ago and had the foresight to be based in Ealing Studios. Since it was created over 9,000 students have passed through its doors.

The Met School is still forward thinking when you consider the names of the categories of these awards:

Audience Engagement, Diversity, Impact, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creative Excellence.

These are all areas where even the most seasoned film makers don’t always consider that creative excellence is only one part of a film. That coupled with the fact that the categories were all judged by people in the industry: the head of BBC studios, Director of Programming at Picturehouse, Twitter etc.

I talked to Tony Orsten who is the CEO of The Imaginarium. His business is storytelling and when asked what he was looking for in the category he judged the Innovation award. He explained he was looking for: “people who tell stories in a new striking way” and went on to add that the winner is the most accomplished piece of film making by a student he had ever seen. The winner of the category was Kalash and not only is an arresting piece that stir up power emotions in the viewer. It is true storytelling at its best, you are unable to guess what comes next and is reminiscent of the seminal 23 minutes long scene in Steve McQueen’s film Hunger, one long shot no cuts between Bobby Sands and Father Moran.

The other winners of the night were:

Audience Engagement award went to Monica.

Creative Excellence award went to The Sprint King.

Diversity award went to Williams Syndrome Foundation.

Entrepreneurship award went to Hot Seat.

Impact award went to RightsInfo

Out of the 150 entries and the 18 shortlisted show that there are diverse voices emerging and that is very much a blessing. For too long the same stories keep being told in the same, lacklustre manner and whilst all of the winners were telling stories we have seen before the angle chosen showed their creativity and boldness. I, for one, cannot wait to see these graduates commercial work and hope that they stay creative and bold!

For more information on The Met Film School, check out their website:

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