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Hollywood beckons for award winning young Manchester filmmaker

7 Jul 2014 - 09:45 by michelle.foster

Harriet Edwards, a second-year student of filmmaking at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England, has won a dream opportunity to work with a Hollywood production company.

Harriet was selected out of students from across the North of England who entered films into a pilot competition mounted by the Insight Film Festival. She has been awarded an expenses-paid trip to Hollywood including a six-week internship with Loyola Productions Inc., an award-winning company based in the heart of the movie industry in Culver City, Los Angeles. She will travel out just before the 2014 American Independence Day celebrations and will have a few days to enjoy the festivities before starting her internship.

The Insight Film Festival is a local event and programme of opportunities - based at Z-arts in Hulme - for filmmakers and young people in Manchester, the UK generally, and beyond.

Students were invited to make a film on the subject of ‘faith’. They were encouraged to interpret the subject in any way they wished, irrespective of their own background or beliefs. Harriet chose to film a personalised interpretation of a Biblical psalm. Harriet said ‘I took the opportunity to express how I see the world. It’s to do with self-discovery and finding yourself – and trying to find a voice.’

Entries for Insight Awards are judged by experienced and high-profile media figures. The panel for the Student Film Award included Usman Mullan of the BBC Writer’s Room North and Fr Tim Byron of Manchester University’s Catholic Chaplaincy, one of the competition’s sponsors. During the process, entrants were given an opportunity to pick up tips from a workshop conducted by award-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce. Having submitted films or scripts, three finalists were invited to be interviewed in a live link-up with Hollywood.

Festival Director, John Forrest said ‘We’re delighted that Harriet has won this award amongst such tough competition. I expect her internship could be an amazing boost to a filmmaking career.’ Insight hopes to roll out the competition nationally in future.

Since 2007 the Insight Film Festival has been encouraging the making of films around the unusual and sometimes controversial subject of ‘faith. It is supported by people from across the world from all faiths and none and is increasingly establishing a global reputation. Its next competition is run in conjunction with the United Nations Association of Civilizations.

For further information, visit: www.insightfestival.co.uk/student-film-award/

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