Winner 2015

150624 Robyn6We are delighted to announce the winner of the Insight Film Festival’s Student Filmmaker Award 2015.

And the winner is…

Robyn Forsythe, for her treatment of NEVER LAND

The Insight Film Festival, the festival of faith in film, is pleased to award this year’s Student Filmmaker Award to Robyn Forsythe for her vision for producing the forthcoming film NEVER LAND.

➤ Experience Robyn’s adventures in Hollywood by visiting her vlog, A Brit Abroad, and following her on social media.

NEVER LAND follows 9-year-old Noah in Boscastle in Cornwall, who is terrified of rising sea levels and wakes up one day to find the whole world flooded. The film delicately opens up an important discussion of environmental issues, as well as asking where faith fits in – not only when it comes to global catastrophes, but in our own lives.

Robyn’s entry to the SFA 2015 asks ‘Amid the shouting of uninformed opinions, it is near impossible to understand what the facts really are about global warming. What is the truth? Is it too late? And where does faith fit in amongst all this?’

NEVER LAND is written by Anna Hoghton, and will be produced by Robyn.

The Insight Film Festival’s Student Filmmaker Award is a prize worth £5000, generously supported by the Jesuits in the UK and includes a 6-week internship with Loyola Productions in Los Angeles. This year’s theme for the award was ‘The truth is out there. Have faith!

Banner580x180Insight’s team were particularly impressed with Robyn’s pitch and her keen understanding of the necessity to explore faith through film in a challenging and compelling way.

‘When I first saw the script, I knew I had to help make the film’, says Robyn. ‘The placement with Loyola Productions will help me to gain the skills necessary to produce this film to the best of my ability and create a finished piece of work that can be shown to audiences worldwide. I want to bring Noah’s understanding of faith to audiences, opening up a discussion and proclaiming the message that “The truth is out there. Have faith!“‘

Loyola logo‘With nearly 50 entries from across the UK, the Student Filmmaker Award 2015 demonstrated what we already knew: that young British filmmakers are among the world’s most inspiring and creative, and are unafraid to turn their immense talents to exploring what faith means in the world today,’ says Abdul-Rehman Malik, Director of the Insight Film Festival.

Talking about Robyn’s winning entry, Abdul-Rehman says: ‘The judges were spoiled for choice and choosing a winner wasn’t easy. Our three finalists submitted exceptional entries – in equal parts challenging, provocative and thoughtful. This year’s winner – Robyn Forsythe – is a filmmaker on the cusp of an incredible career. Her film treatment revealed a gift for storytelling; it’s a complex moral and social drama told through the eyes of a child. We can’t wait to see it made – and we can’t wait to see what future Student Filmmaker Award cycles will bring!’

Our SFA 2015 winner comes with an interesting and impressive filmmaking history of her own. ‘I started my career by producing and directing a television drama surrounding students in Manchester for Channel M while I was at University. I have a biology degree, and when I graduated I began by working in science documentaries,’ says Robyn. Our winner went on to excel in television and film posts, including working with a company that had a short film – The Voorman Problem – nominated for an Oscar in 2014, and is currently supporting herself through a law degree to support her career as a film producer.

Robyn has great plans to document her time with Loyola with a blog, so watch out for updates published and publicised by the Insight Film Festival. You can find out more about Robyn and her work to date at Union Pictures, her production company, and at her personal website, RobynForsythe.com. Filming for NEVER LAND starts in November 2015, and NEVER LAND is due to premier at BFI Future Film festival in February 2016.

Insight interviewed Robyn to gauge her initial reaction to winning the SFA 2015. You can read how she feels about winning and about the prospect of working with Loyola Productions here.

Insight SFA 2015 also awarded high commendations for two other films – runners-up of this year’s Student Filmmaker Award: Finite Light (film: 05:00) by Penny Starr and The Right to Save (trailer: 00:41) by Daniel Borovkov. The judges were extremely impressed by the quality, passion and craft of both films and by the filmmakers’  imaginative approach to the theme of faith. Insight hopes to work with Penny and Daniel on future screenings and events.

Contact details

For more information about the Insight Student Filmmaker Award, visit out microsite pages and/or contact our Project Leader, Marianne Knowles, via email at knowlesmarianne@gmail.com or by phone on +44 (0)7875 168549

Acknowledgements

The SFA 2015  judging team, which included: Abdul-Rehman Malik (Director, Insight Film Festival; Programmes Manager, Radical Middle Way; and London-based journalist, educator and organiser); David Butler (Head of Shortlist Committee, Insight Film Festival; and Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of Manchester); Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ (Jesuit Provincial of the British Provinceand film aficionado); Fr Tim Byron SJ  (Chaplain to the University of Manchester, the Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music; and another film aficionado); and Fr Eddie J Siebert SJ (Founder and President, Loyola Productions).

Insight are delighted to announce Robyn Forsythe as the SFA 2015 winner. We would also once again like to thank our funders Jesuits in Britain, in particular Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ and Fr Tim Byron SJ, as well as Fr Eddie Siebert SJ at Loyola Productions for their generous internship and all of the Insight Film Festival team for their support.