The future of the county’s film industry is in exceptional hands if the Cornwall Film Festival Screen Action awards were anything to go by.
College students from Camborne and St Austell celebrated a near clean sweep of the awards held at the Poly in Falmouth, winning four of the six categories that shine a light on the very best of student film making.
Claiming two wins and a runner up gong for his music video, was Cornwall College student Matt Fisher, an unheard of haul of trophies for work carried out by a first year of a further education creative media course.
Matt, 18 from Camborne, was the winner Cornwall Film Festival 2017 Rising Star Award, impressing judges with his factual entertainment short film, which focused on his mother’s battle with spina bifida.
And it was the former Camborne Science and International Academy student’s mum who inspired the talented teenager into becoming a creative.
“My mum taught me to draw and I want to channel my creativity into film making,” Matt explained.
“We had an assignment called ‘the screen life’ where we had to choose a bit of our personal life we wanted to express, and a big part of my life is my mum for inspiring my creativity as well as the day to day struggles she faces with spina bifida.”
Matt said he tried to capture his mum’s life by filming interviews with those close to her including her mum, as well as trips to a hydrotherapy centre in Truro.
And while Matt poured his heart and talent into the film, he said he was “overwhelmed” when it was announced he had won the Rising Star award.
“There were all these colleges and sixth forms at the awards and when I heard my name I sort of blacked out and don’t remember much of my speech, but my classmates were cheering and really supportive,” he explained.
As the Rising Star winner, Matt received a trophy, t-shirt, hooded top and cash prize, but also won the opportunity to be connected with a host of professional film makers and work with the British Film Institute to develop his talent.
He is already looking to set up a production company called Pescade with his girlfriend while continuing with his studies, hopefully an HND at Cornwall College.
“I love the cinematography of modern films, particularly psychological thrillers such as A Cure for Wellness or 10 Cloverfield Lane, I love leaving an audience feeling ‘wow, what happened there?’.”
Team lead at The Cornwall College Group, Rory Mason, said he was delighted with another award-winning year for the students.
“We are particularly proud of Matt Fisher for winning the Cornwall Film Festival 2017 Rising Star Award which recognises the best up and coming Cornish film-making talent,” said course leader Rory mason.
Rory has overseen the rise of creative media at Cornwall College, making the department a leading light for students wanting to make it in the creative industries.
“We have students who have gone on to set up their own companies, work on films like Star Wars and a wealth of TV programmes,” he explained.
“It is such a pleasure to see students who are passionate go on to succeed in a career many were told they would never be able to work in. And it’s great to be able to boast a media course in Cornwall that has won 40 industry recognised awards in the last 10 years including four prestigious Royal Television Society undergraduate awards.”
And for Matt it’s a case of “raising my game” and “improving my work as much as possible”.
“You can have all the kit you want, but it’s really about the tutors and how positive there are at college,” he continued.
It’s quite common for family and friends to say ‘get a real job’, but the tutors tell you to keep pushing and that you can make it in the film industry. There’s been some really successful students from this course who have worked on films like Star Wars and when you hear these stories you are like, I can be like that as well.”