From education to employment

Learning through the lens

The Learning on Screen Awards recognises and celebrates the pedagogical value of moving image, and on 28 April 2016 at the BFI in London, forty-four nominations will battle it out in twelve categories, with two categories dedicated to commending the work of student filmmakers in UK FE colleges.

At the British Universities Film & Video Council we’re proud of Learning on Screen, the UK’s only celebration of moving image in teaching and learning. It’s essential to recognise the value of film and media across all education, and in relation to our FE categories it’s the learning experience itself that the awards recognise and support.

Students involved in practical filmmaking are undertaking what I believe is referred to as ‘kinaesthetic learning’, or learning by doing. When producing filmic coursework students must consider elements like script and editing, the effect these have on the target audience and the practical skills needed to put their ideas in a coherent and engaging form.

Of course, the primary reason students attend college to learn these skills is the prospect of finding employment. We want to celebrate these excellent productions but even more, we want to help to students along their chosen career path by giving them exposure on an industry platform, and that’s why we present awards to media industry professionals alongside the student awards.

Last year we introduced our two dedicated FE categories: FE Student Production and College Higher Education Student Production, and now just one year in, we are already seeing our winners and nominees go on to great things.

The winner of last year’s College HE Award was Parallel House. Since winning, the film’s director, Lexx Oliver from Bridgend College, has been accepted onto a number of filmmaking talent schemes, including Edinburgh International Television Festival’s ‘The Network’, where she was part of a team that worked with Endemol to pitch to the Head of Sky Arts.

This year already, FE Student Production award nominee Just Some Morning Tea, has scooped Best Short Film at the national WJEC Moving Image Awards. This has given producer and director George Summers from Truro College some well-deserved recognition in his local papers and earned him praise from music video and film director Corin Hardy.

In the 21st century moving image is increasingly integral to how we all communicate, with a burgeoning industry supplying our digital demand. And, business, entertainment and leisure information is increasingly being communicated with moving images in apps, online or elsewhere.

That’s why we were delighted when A Portal Too Far, directed by Sean Byrne, won this year’s College HE Award (this award was presented prior to the main ceremony, at the Association of Colleges College HE Conference in March). The film was produced as part of a Foundation Degree in Interactive Media and Games Development, making it one of the few submissions we receive not produced as part of a film course.

At the BUFVC, we believe the college learning experience should advance students’ digital literacy in all subject areas, and luckily, it’s never been easier for students to start making films. Most hold the capability they need in their pockets.

So my challenge is this – at the Learning on Screen Awards 2017, we want to see student film productions from across the UK, made as part of science, maths, business and sports science courses. Set your students a production task and we look forward to receiving their submissions later in the year.

For more information visit Please note the British Universities Film & Video Council is shortly to be renamed Learning on Screen – the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council.

Virginia Haworth-Galt is chief executive of the British Universities Film & Video Council
For more information visit – please note the British Universities Film & Video Council is shortly to be renamed Learning on Screen – the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council

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