2022 NCL Film Festival Highlights and Award Winners

Staff and students from all levels of our courses came together on Friday 10th June to watch a programme of short films, documentaries, music videos and showreels in the screening room at GMAC in Glasgow’s City Centre.

The full playlist of features from the event is available to view at our department’s YouTube Channel.

All agreed that the calibre of work this year has been exceptionally high and the award panel had a few debates and tough decisions along the way to selecting this year’s award winners:

  • HND Student of the year: Christopher Kelly
  • HNC Student of the year: Sarah Stables
  • NQ Student of the year: Linsay McNab
  • Best Showreel :Katarzyna Rycak
  • Best Short Film: Sarah Stables (Falsehood)
  • Best VFX and Sound Design: Chris Haughey (The Box)
  • Best Documentary: Graeme Ross (The Art of Falling)
  • Promising New Director: Simon Bryant (The Scent)
  • Most Improved Student: Iona Foulis

“It was a pleasure to watch this year’s student films in the GMAC screening room, and I think all the students got a kick from seeing their features on the big screen. The quality of the work this year was outstanding and we can already see the difference that the department’s Next Generation HN approach has made, which is really encouraging. I’d like to thank everyone involved, students and staff for all their hard work this year.”

Michael Grant, Film & Television Lecturer

“The quality from the HN’s this year has been really high, not only the practical and technical skills, but also the social skills. We’ve been lucky with our Next-Gen pilot cohort, in that we’ve had some really talented students come on board. Students that are now hopefully more open to new networking opportunities and more aware of the possibilities of a good collaboration. Skills and experiences that should see them well on their way. It’s great (and important) to see the hard work the students have put in all year long is recognised and rewarded at an event like this.

All the winners really deserved their awards.”

Alec Cheer, Film & Television Lecturer
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Extracts 2022

The screening of Extracts 2022, will take place on Friday 17th June, 7-8:30pm at the Screening Room within GMAC, 103 Trongate, Glasgow.

EXTRACTS is a collaborative project involving final year performance students from City of Glasgow College and Film and Television students from New College Lanarkshire, showcasing their skills using extracts from scripts, normally performed live on stage.

This year HN Sound Production students were also involved in the location recordings which take advantage of the diverse locations within the town and taps into Cumbernauld’s rich film and TV heritage.

Extracts 2022 location filming.
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2022 NCL Film Festival, Friday 10th June

We are proud to announce that the 2022 New College Lanarkshire Film Festival will take place on Friday 10th June 7-9pm at the Screening Room within GMAC, 103 Trongate, Glasgow.

Come along to see a variety of short films, documentaries, music videos and features made by our students over the last year. Awards will also be shared out across the 3 course groups across a number of categories.

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HN Alumni Colleen Bell picks up two awards from the Royal Television Society

Colleen collects her awards for The Space I Occupy at The Royal Television Society Student Awards

Former NCL Alumni Colleen Bell scooped two awards from The Royal Television Society at their student awards ceremony held on the 25th of April 2022 at St Lukes in Glasgow.

The Space I Occupy, is a factual feature Colleen made whilst studying at the The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, it explores eating disorders, self­-criticism and a woman’s relationship with her body, the feature won the Factual award and also won Colleen, the Craft Skills: Writing prize.

Colleen graduates from RCS this Summer and we’re all excited to see where she takes her talent next.

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HN Alumni shortlisted at the Royal Television Society, Scotland, Student Awards 2022

The shortlist nominations for the RTS Scotland Student Television Awards 2022 were recently announced and two former students from NCL’s HN Film & Television course are among this year’s nominees. 

James Reid and Coleen Bell were both students on our HN Television course 2017-19. James went on to study at Napier University, while Colleen was accepted to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA in film.  James has a feature titled “Personal” in the running in the comedy and entertainment category, while Coleen has a factual feature; “The Space I Occupy”.

This award ceremony which will be held next week at St Lukes in Glasgow, is an annual recognition of the best student television production from students studying across Scotland and we wish both Jim and Coleen all the best with their nominations.

For full details on the shortlist please visit this link

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International ART Week: University of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca

Film & TV Department promo for the conference.

The ADEMA University School, a centre attached to the University of the Balearic Islands, held an inaugural International ART Week this year in Mallorca and NCL’s Film & Television department were invited to attend and present at the event.

The conference brought together professionals, researchers and artists from all over the world to discuss the latest developments in the field of Fine Art and share good practice between top international universities and institutions. Film and TV lecturer Alec Cheer was accompanied on the trip by the lecturer and Fine Artist, Sheila Boyle. Nine other speakers presented during the conference including representatives from the ADEMA University School, Chelsea School of Art and Glasgow School of Art.

A number of films and short features were submitted to the department for inclusion in a department wide project; “Postcards From The Edge” to gather content for the presentation. Staff and students across all levels of our courses contributed to give a snapshot of our department’s current practice, ethos and vision for the future.

The Film & TV department are currently piloting the next generation of HN qualifications in Television.

The Adema Art School is very new (their first degree cohort start in September!) so getting the chance of seeing the start of an Art School was exciting. Palma is a city full of creativity, the amount of public art I saw in and around the city was inspiring.

It was great to be part of the conference and show the good work our department does. The feedback we got was very positive, the quality of the student’s work being a big talking point, as was the way we creatively use mobile technology.

Listening to everyone’s different ideas, perspectives and approaches was inspiring. Showing that we are not a million miles away from these HE organisations in our approach.

After two years of communicating online and blended teaching, it was refreshing to meet with people face to face, to practice what we preach to the students about meta-skills. The importance of getting yourself out there, communicating and networking always ready for potential collaboration.

Alec Cheer, Film & Television Lecturer
Moving Image and Stills documenting the first International ART Week, courtesy of Alec Cheer.

Palma is a city which clearly has creativity at its heart. It was inspiring to navigate the historic streets and explore the diverse mix of traditional, contemporary and public art alongside spontaneous street art. Adema has certainly picked the right spot for their new Art School.

The Conference provided a unique opportunity to meet with colleagues from institutions across the UK and Europe, to share good practice and common goals, and meeting in person enriched the whole experience. As a fine artist and educational practitioner, it was inspiring to gain insight into each institution’s creative projects. I found it particularly refreshing to see that, irrespective of academic level, each representative had the same core values and aims: to bring out the best in their students through skills development, peer collaboration and practice relevant content. It was great to see examples of so many independent self motivated students who demonstrated confidence in their own practice.

I am impressed and proud of how the output presented by our Film & TV team and students, stood shoulder to shoulder with higher level institutions. They demonstrated the true value of professional collaboration and how they so positively adapted to the challenges of the last two years.

I was intrigued by how the Adema team plan to integrate technologies held within the broader institution into their creative output in the form of 3D printing and haptic technology and Amparo’s insight into NFT’s has lead me to think on ways in which to develop creative digital arts within my personal and professional practice.

Sheila Boyle, Art Lecturer

The Head of Studies for the Fine Arts degree in Mallorca, saw it as “essential” that “new studies look ahead at technologies, the future and new perceptions and interpretations… being able to integrate knowledge into new processes of creation and disciplinary and interdisciplinary experimentation.”

Amparo Sard, Head of Fine Art Studies, Adema University. Mallorca
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Cara Smillie HND Short Documentary

Cara’s Documentary Feature: The Divine Hag

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of my documentary. There were a few things that did not go to plan including filming dates that had to be rescheduled, this was due to Margaret having to do a PCR test and she could not get the results in time for the shoot. I feel I learned to be flexible when arranging dates and for next time, If possible? I would set one date for a backup day for the shoot.

I also wanted to film the workshops that Margaret runs, where people come and make candles but due to COVID she was not running the workshops at that time. Something I would do differently if I could redo the project is to maybe to try to get some more people involved, for example Margaret’s daughters as their perspective would have been interesting to explore.

Something else I feel I could have done differently is maybe show the products being used by a customer and have shot more footage in the workshop. I feel overall I was very organised with the project, and I feel like I communicated and worked well with Margaret and the crew for the interview.

Maybe I could have been more directorial when I was filming with Margaret in the workshop? so I could have thought of shots in advance of the shoot. I made a rough shot list for example Margaret walking into the Whisky Bond next to a sign, Close up of products on a shelf, film the processes of making a candle, mist etc.

Cara Smillie, HND Film & Television Student
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International Women’s Day 2022

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Graeme Ross HND Short Documentary

Graeme’s Short Documentary Feature: The Art of Falling

After my original (documentary) idea fell through, I was unexpectedly presented with an opportunity for an interesting documentary. My wife was doing a Skydive for her 40th Birthday and I decided I would do a little blog video of her experience. While waiting for the Skydive to go ahead I was reviewing some of the footage I had shot and I started to think this would make a good documentary. Something different and unique.

After she had completed her skydive and she received her footage, the idea of doing a documentary on Skydive Strathallan was in full swing. I already had a load of B roll footage shot during the 2 days I was waiting for my wife to do her skydive and I also now had actual footage of someone completing their first skydive. The way I looked at it was that I already had almost half of the doc filmed before I had even started thinking about it, all that was missing would be interviews and B Roll from within the hangar. At this point I was 8 weeks down, 8 weeks of no documentary work, 8 weeks still in the thinking stage. Quite a few of my peers had already been through pre-production, filming and were now in post-production deep into their edits, exactly where I had hoped to be with my original documentary idea. I was still feeling frustrated and dejected from the failed idea but was really coming round and coming up with fresh ideas for the skydive doc.

I received responses straight away from the organiser and the videographer of Strathallan skydive who were both on board for me filming but it would all come down to the Chairman of the association to make the final decision. After 3 weeks I finally got the permission to go ahead with the documentary. I was over the moon and ecstatic to get going. I planned the filming for the first week in November so that would give me plenty of time to go into post production and spend as much time as possible editing it all. Then COP26 came steam rolling into Scotland to put a further delay on the start of my filming as airspace around Scotland was closed meaning no Skydiving could take place and Strathallan had to shut down for the period.

During this period I was lucky enough to get some filming time in at a COP26 event which was a great experience. At the same time, this break gave me plenty of time to note down exactly everything I wanted to film on the day up in Strathallan and it also gave me the time to get the 2 interviews of my wife’s experience filmed, her before and after reactions.

All that was needed now was 2-3 interviews from people within Strathallan and some more B roll of the site. Something I was confident in getting in just the 1 day on site, since I had already been twice before with my wife and got plenty of footage.

As soon as they opened back up again I got permission to film on the first day I could, roughly 10-11 weeks since we started work on the docs and only 2 weeks until we had to deliver a first draft of the documentary to fulfil the assignment deadlines.

The day of filming couldn’t of gone any better. As much as it was meant to be a quiet day, a few skydive schools showed up creating a brighter atmosphere around the hangar and it was also a nice calm day which meant they would definitely get up for skydiving. I filmed 3 interviews on the day and loads of B Roll and was made to feel very welcome. After that it was time to get home, wrangle my footage and then get on with the editing since I only had 2 weeks to get a first draft submitted.

The edit ended up being very easy as I already had a structure planned on how I wanted it all put together. I knew I had to be quick with the edit but also knew to take my time and get it right. As much as it would be my first draft I always like making sure my first drafts look almost complete so if anything needs changed it should hopefully just be minor tweaks and changes here and there. In the end it only took 2 days (a few hours each day) to complete a draft that was as close to the final version as I hoped it would be. This included sound design, soundtrack and some colourising.

I always had 1 music track in mind ever since I saw the raw skydive footage we received from Strathallan and after including it in my draft I think it fits absolutely perfect at the moment my wife jumps out the plane and gives a nice moving moment to the skydive itself.

And that was my first draft complete and handed in for the end of November deadline. On the final day in college before Christmas we had to showcase our first drafts to our peers. I was overwhelmed with the feedback from everyone which was a huge relief, especially after everything I had been through trying to get my original  documentary made and then the down period trying to come up with a new idea to then be in a rush to get it all filmed and edited.

I am very happy with the end result but more relieved that I got something filmed in the end and that it turned out far better than I had hoped it would. From a complete passion project to a rush job, this has been a very big learning curve about always been prepared for the unexpected and always be thinking creatively just in case you need to move onto another project. That being said, the skydive idea just happen to land in my lap and I think my documentary is all the better for it. Unexpected, passionate, family affair, different, scary, fun and heart. I am very proud of what I have produced in the end and the amazing response I continue to get from family, friends and peers has shown that I made the right decision to go back to College after 20 years and continue to learn about something I have a passion for.

Graeme Ross, HND Film/TV student
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Christopher Kelly HND Short Documentary

Christopher Kelly’s HND Short Documentary Feature “Three Strikes”

Making this documentary was a great experience. Although I am very happy with the finished video, I feel as though I learned something about my own abilities at every stage of production and certainly made a few technical mistakes that I can learn from.

The production schedule was in a constant state of change during the course of filming. Originally I had envisioned filming the B-roll footage as a simulated game, so that I could get cinematic shots in close-up and slow-motion. This changed late in the pre-production stage due to the schedule of the teams, which meant that we had to instead shoot a live game and outdoor interviews with minimal crew. This presented several logistical challenges, however I think we managed to get some really nice shots, particularly the shots captured over the shoulder of the batters.

For filming the interviews, I had very short windows of time to get an interview with each subject. Five sit-down interviews were conducted over three days, mostly solo shooting, which included a trip up to Tayport. There were lessons learned on some of the shoots in terms of lighting and maintaining good eyelines, however I think one of the final shoots (with Saeed) really came together well technically and produced some great looking footage. I also took the opportunity to film some individual B-roll of the subject’s uniforms which I think looked particularly nice when used in the documentary.

In post-production, with five multi-camera sit down interviews, five pitch-side outdoor interviews, and footage from three games to work with, I certainly had an abundance of video to edit. Cutting it all down to under 12 minutes was a time-consuming but enjoyable task. I had to really work hard to balance the pacing of the video while including as much as I could to showcase the passion of the players and highlight as many interesting topics of the sport as possible.

I wanted to ensure that the video felt like one flowing conversation with ten voices and to not be artificially split into subjects with title cards for instance, and I feel that I achieved that. This was also the most amount of work I had done so far in terms of colour adjustments in post-production, as the lighting conditions on all shoots were completely different from each other.

In the end, I am happy with this documentary and think that it achieved my main goal of highlighting the league and the passion of the players in an entertaining manner that would appeal to both fans of the sport and to people who don’t know that baseball exists in Scotland.

Christopher Kelly HND Film/TV Student

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