The incredible journey that an Into Film Award can begin

07 Dec 2018 BY Dotty

5 mins
From Dotty's internship for Ken Loach's production company, Sixteen Films
From Dotty's internship for Ken Loach's production company, Sixteen Films

The Into Film Awards are our way of recognising some of the brilliant talent and creativity among young people across the UK, and winning an award can be just the first step on an incredible journey into the world of film and beyond. 

Dotty, from Barnstaple, won Review of the Year at the 2017 Into Film Awards for her review of I, Daniel Blake, and her journey  since is a testament to the countless exciting opportunities that the film industry holds, as well as the doors that the Into Film Awards can open. Below, Dotty speaks about her experience since winning her award.

Entries for the 2018 Into film Awards are open until 14 December - so get your submissions in today!

I first got involved in Into Film when I was 11, as a young reporter, and after the excitement of finding out about how film industry works, I started making and writing about films. 

In 2016 I saw Ken Loach's feature film I, Daniel Blake which told the story of one man's struggle against the benefits system in Newcastle. I was so engrossed by it that it spurred me on to write a review and post it on the Into Film website. Shortly after, I was surprised by an email saying I had been nominated for Into Film's Review of the Year 2017!

Going to the awards was an amazing (and nerve wracking!) experience in itself, but even more excitingly I found out that Rebecca O'Brien, the producer of I, Daniel Blake, was presenting my award, and I was overjoyed when I won. I got talking to Rebecca on the press circuit after, and from this conversation I was offered a two week work experience at Ken Loach's production company Sixteen Films, in Soho, London the next summer.

On the work experience, I got the opportunity to read, discuss and write treatments for the company's upcoming projects. It was invaluable to be exposed to real scripts, budgets and inspiring people that I could learn from and ask questions to. When working alongside them, my opinions were valued, and I was taught about each part of the production process and every role involved. I learnt from the team of Producers, Accountants and Ken Loach's Personal Assistant, and got to do a variety of interesting work. 

Being in London for two weeks and travelling around by myself was very valuable for me. It was brilliant to learn the ins and outs of a small but extremely successful production company.

Without Into Film I wouldn't have got this amazing opportunity - I would encourage everyone to enter the Into Film Awards, you never know what could happen as a result! It set me on the path I'm on today, as seeing the films at the awards ceremony inspired me to get back into making my own short films, which have now done well at film festivals. 

The portfolio I built up with these films and the knowledge I gained from the work experience helped me to get accepted at the Northern Film School in Leeds, where I now study filmmaking. I aspire to be a cinematographer or director in the future, and all these experiences have certainly set me on the way to my dream career in film.

If you're feeling inspired by Dotty's story, there's still time to enter the Into Film Awards 2019 before the 14 December deadline. With 14 separate categories - including a rejigged Reviewer of the Year award - there's something for everyone. You can find out more about each category on our Awards page and be sure to check out highlights from last year's Awards to see what you could be a part of!

Dotty - Profile Pic

Dotty, Filmmaking Student

Dotty is an Into Film alummna, having worked as a Young Reporter and as part of our Youth Advisory Council, and won an Into Film Award for review writing. Now at the Northern Film School, she enjoys collaborating on a range of exciting filmmaking projects. She is currently working on a comedy-drama web series, and aspires to live her life creatively.

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