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Young NI movie makers pick up two coveted awards at prestigious London film ceremony

Date Posted: June 26, 2024

Young filmmakers from Northern Ireland won two of the ten awards on offer at the prestigious annual Into Film Awards at a star-studded ceremony in London

Each year, the Into Film Awards are made possible through sponsorship from across the UK Screen Industry. In 2007, Into Film was launched in Northern Ireland with funding from the Department of Communities through Northern Ireland Screen and supported by the BFI, which awards National Lottery Good Cause funding. The initiative began with a single school and has since flourished, expanding across the country.

Pupils from St Colmcille’s High School in Crossgar picked up the much-coveted Audience Choice Award, sponsored by Universal Pictures International, for their hilarious comedy, Cereal Killers.

Their award was presented by Northern Ireland’s very own screen star Jamie Dornan, from Holywood, County Down.

And Caireen Ferguson from Ballynahinch won the Best Animation (12 and Over) sponsored by Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures, UK for her film Frog Flight. Her award was presented by actors Joanne Frogatt and Tobie Donovan.

The annual awards, given to young people from across the UK for their outstanding work with film, took place at a ceremony at ODEON, Luxe in Leicester Square attended by a host of celebrities from the world of film and entertainment.

Cereal Killers, made by 19 pupils from Year 8 at St Colmcille’s, is an amusing comedy film in which cereal boxes come to life to turn the tables on an ungrateful school Breakfast Club.

The Audience Choice award was voted on by members of the public via social media channels, making it the only Into Film award decided by the sheer popularity of the film. With almost 12,000 votes cast across Facebook, X and Instagram, it was a tough battle, but the Northern Ireland film rose to the top with its mix of fantastic costumes, cereal-based puns, and a dramatic, full-scale battle for the school at its climax.

Five pupils plus teachers from the school were at the ceremony to receive the award and one excited representative spoke about the fun they had creating the film.

School principal Seamus Hanna said: “I am absolutely delighted, immensely proud and almost speechless at the amazingly talented pupils and wonderful staff who have the courage to let our pupils’ imagination sing. The icing on the cake was having Jamie Dornan, a fellow County Down man, present the award!”

Caireen Ferguson’s film, which won the Best Animation Award, is a touching, dialogue-free animation that sees a young frog deciding he wants to fly like a bird, but when all of his attempts to take wing end in failure, it’s up to his father to decide whether to help make his son’s risky dream come true or not.

The 19-year-old former Assumption Grammar student said: “It’s beyond belief. It feels like I am in a dream! Film, specifically animation, has been a life-long source of happiness and inspiration to me. It has helped shape me into who I am today, so being given this opportunity to share my own film with others is indescribable.”

Frog Flight is Caireen’s first full-length animated narrative sequence, for which she also won joint best animated A2 sequence at the 2023 CCEA Showcase Awards. She is now studying animation at university.

Education charity, Into Film, is supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery Good Cause funding.

Sean Kelly, Into Film’s Northern Ireland Programme Lead, said: “We are delighted that both nominees from Northern Ireland have won awards showcasing the amazing work by our talented young people and their dedicated teachers. We encourage and support schools to put film at the heart of education.”


Find out more: www.intofilm/awards


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