The inspirational Baroness Floella Benjamin was Guest Speaker at the 2018 LoS awards, presenting the winner of each category with their awards. She chatted to ERA after the event and recalled her days as a presenter on the iconic BBC Children’s programmes Playschool and its sister series, Playaway. She told us that “one of the most marvellous things about the programmes was the way in which they communicated ideas and educated children through entertainment”.
This was the 14th Learning on Screen Awards ceremony and was held at the BFI on 26 April. LoS is “The only UK awards celebrating moving image and related media production in learning, teaching and research”. The awards aim to ensure wider recognition to student filmmakers and producers of educational audio-visual material.
An actor, presenter, writer and independent programme producer, Baroness Benjamin joined the BBC children’s programmes in 1976. At the time she says, she didn’t fully appreciate how educational the programmes were. Looking back, she can see how they celebrated everyday decency, humour and diversity.
“Childhood lasts a lifetime; the programmes we watch as children stay with us and can influence us for the rest of our lives,” she told us. For this reason in particular, she strongly believes that filmmakers have a moral responsibility to ensure that their work is honest and heartfelt. Filmmakers should be confident in themselves and should always bear in mind the influence they have on their audience’s thinking.
ERA is proud to have supported the event and the nominated film clips clearly demonstrated amazing dedication, confidence and creativity. Once again the standard was incredibly high and the Jury had to make some extremely difficult choices, the Student awards in particular showcased some incredible talent and honesty.
This year ERA Sponsored the Broadcast Award. The winner of this category was the film ‘Raped: My Story , directed and produced by Catey Sexton for by Lambent Productions and broadcast on Channel 5 (still available to watch on My 5 ) This landmark documentary in which 10 people speak out for the first time about what happened to them was commended by the judges for its sensitivity in portraying extremely honest but difficult and disturbing material.
The Special Jury Award this year was given to an inventive dark comedy musical, Potty the Plant, by undergraduate students at Middlesex University and directed by Aeddan Sussex. Learning on Screen said that “the jury were very impressed with the production design, level of energy and general technical expertise on display in this bold and funny film”.
The Premier Award was won by the winning film in the Student Postgraduate Award category, Writing Home. This film, made by students at the University of West of Scotland was commended for its management of international locations, the high level of technical production and the strong performances.
A full list of winners can be found on Learning on Screen’s website