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Northumbria graduate wins Royal Television Society Award

Press release   •   Mar 02, 2014 00:00 GMT

A Media Production graduate from Northumbria University, Newcastle, has won a Royal Television Society Award.

Richard Powell Smith, who graduated last year, was recognised in the North East and Borders regional awards for his film, Blyth, in the Student Best Fiction Production category.

The awards ceremony, which took place at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead on Saturday 2 March, also acknowledged another Northumbria graduate, Richard Foster, for his film Eric in the same category. Both were up against work from Teesside University, however Blyth was chosen as the winner by judges who described it as ‘original, bold and evocative — an exciting new addition to our film-making community’. Northumbria University was also represented in the Student Best Factual Production category by nominee, Harry Jenkinson.

The Student Awards are judged separately from the main regional awards, and the winner of each category goes forward to the Royal Television Society (RTS) National Student Awards held in London later this year. The award was presented by category sponsor Andrew Moffat from Port of Tyne and award-winning author of Vera, Ann Cleeves, who is also working with Northumbria University and New Writing North on the forthcoming Crime Story crime fiction festival.

Robert Jefferson, Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University supervised the student media project as part of the Film Production module. He said: “We submit films every year to the RTS awards. Obviously, it has to be of particularly high quality for submission, and we’re pleased that our students are consistently producing outstanding work that deserves recognition. In fact, it’s the second year running that Northumbria has been recognised in the Fiction category, which is something we’re all proud of.

“The Film Production module is the chance for students to showcase all they have learned on the course and deliver any personal projects they have harboured the desire to make. They devise their own programme and work as either directors, writers, producers, animators or camera operatives.

“Richard’s film is an arresting, brave piece of work. I’m absolutely thrilled that he has won this award, which will be a great achievement to add to his graduate CV.”

Richard said: “I was so pleased to be recognised for my work. It’s quite a left-field piece, so it was great that senior industry representatives were open to considering it. The whole experience has made me re-evaluate the possibility of attracting funding to make more work. It’s a great boost for my career and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

For more information about studying media at Northumbria University, click here. To see the full list of award winners, visit the North East and Borders section of the RTS website at

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