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WWI film scoops prestigious award

A film about a British soldier who was unjustly executed for cowardice during the First World War, has been awarded 'Winner of the Audience Poll' in the Imperial War Museum's Fifth annual Student Film Festival and Competition.
Produced and directed by Simon Clement while studying for a BSc in Film Production at Staffordshire University, 'Wipers' dramatises the last days of a young man finally broken by the trauma of fighting in the trenches.
The awards ceremony for this unique student film festival run by the Imperial War Museum, will be held on 2 February 2006.
Designed originally to bring student films to wider audiences and as a way to help improve standards in British documentary, the Festival is rapidly becoming an important showcase for British film-making talent. All the films screened in the Festival, held in November and December each year, incorporate archive footage from the Museum's collection or are made in response to the Museum's collections and exhibitions. There are three categories in the competition: 'Best Documentary', 'Best Creative Response to the Subject of War' and 'Winner of the Audience Poll'.
The winning film in the 'Best Documentary' category was 'Aperture Fever', made by Zeeya Merali, Jenny Jopson and Iain Taylor while studying Science Communication at Imperial College, London. The film, which incorporates archive footage from the Museum's collection, takes a quirky look at the world of the amateur astronomer, providing a wonderful insight into the allure of this fascinating and metaphysical hobby.
The winner in the category of the 'Best Creative Response to the Subject of War' was Yr Ymwelydd, 'The Visitor', an un-subtitled drama in Welsh, German and English about an injured Luftwaffe pilot who hides in a Welsh farm during the Second World War. Skillfully directed by Tomos Cynnllo Lewis, the judges were also impressed by the performances of the actors in the cast, all amateurs and members of Tomos's family.
The 2005 festival was the biggest ever with nineteen films screened for free in the Imperial War Museum London's 200 seat cinema. As well as bringing the work of young filmmakers to a wider audience, the Festival also provides a valuable insight into attitudes to contemporary issues such as war, immigration and remembrance.


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