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Student’s war film wins prestigious award

Lecturers and students from the BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting course are celebrating winning a prestigious Royal Television Society Award in the student factual film category.

Glenn Lewis Smith’s 16-minute film ‘Losing Sight of the Glory: Medical Reflections on the War’ won against strong competition. It tells a compelling story of medical advances learned through war.

A second University of Portsmouth film, ‘Men of Magic’, by Richard Bearpark, was shortlisted in the same awards.

Glenn was unable to attend the ceremony because he is working in the Gulf but he was kept up to date with a running commentary from the event via Twitter with course tutor Charlie Watts.

Glenn said: “Charlie had helped me find employment in Doha, Qatar last year but I had no idea the work would eventually preclude me from attending my own award ceremony. Thankfully, Charlie’s tweets allowed me to find out the good news seconds after it was announced in Winchester. I was completely over the moon when he told me that I had won.”

Glenn’s film was produced as a final year project, and his project supervisor was Gary Bown.

Winners: Course tutor Charlie Watts, left, and project supervisor Gary Bown at the RTS awards

Winners: Course tutor Charlie Watts, left, and project supervisor Gary Bown at the RTS awards

Gary said: “I’m delighted Glenn’s film has won. I can remember first seeing an early draft of his film and I was astonished. It is quite simply one of the best student films I’ve ever seen, and although it is very graphic in its detailing of particular injuries sustained in the battle of Waterloo, its narrative is gripping.

“I wish more students involved in producing TV factual work would pursue serious and weighty subject matter because there seems to be a trend for producing lots of comedy routines and light entertainment that steers clear of more involved topics.

“It was a real insight at the awards seeing the types of work that impress the broadcast industry. All of the work was challenging and really meaningful.”

The awards ceremony was attended by staff and students from the School of Creative Technologies, their peers from other south coast educational institutions and most of the professional broadcast teams from the BBC South and Meridian.

Charlie Watts said: “We attended the ceremony with high hopes, and when ‘Men of Magic’ didn’t win the award for best student documentary, Gary and I started to feel a bit anxious. The work my course usually produces is not necessarily focused on winning awards as we are more engaged with professional client work that is great for getting students graduate jobs, but both of the films that were nominated had that special something and that inspired us to submit them.”

Glenn returns from the Gulf this week and can’t wait to collect his award.

He said: “It feels amazing to win. I was really lucky to have to met Michael Crumplin, a retired general surgeon who features in my film and who helped me. He is so knowledgeable and enabled me to make a documentary about a dark and interesting part of history.

“The really great feeling is knowing that more people will hopefully be able to view my current and future work. That’s what every filmmaker wants, their work to be seen.

“I wanted to make this period in history more interesting to a younger audience, so animating the selected paintings to move was a way to make it more engaging.”

Glenn’s film will now be entered into the national Royal Television Society Awards to be held in London later this year.

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  1. Congratulations to Glenn and Mick on producing this fascinating film, bringing the Waterloo period to life with an excellent narration and vivid illustrations.

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