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Congratulations to Ben Hodge, aged 20 from Prescot, Merseyside, whose affecting film 1 Year has won Best Documentary (Sponsored by Universal Pictures International) at the Into Film Awards 2020.
1 Year is very personal documentary in which Ben reflects on his past achievements and charts his first year on testosterone, as he transitions to becoming the person he truly is. Watch the winning film above.
Note: All films nominated for the 2020 Into Film Awards were filmed in 2019 or early in 2020, prior to any COVID-19 distancing regulations.
Something I think that is important to note is that no two LGBT+ experiences are the same. I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can open some level of understanding and tolerance in my audience.Ben Hodge, Into Film Award winning filmmaker
Ben is currently studying Media & Performance at the University of Salford and is an amateur filmmaker/theatre maker with a particular interest in stories regarding LGBTQ+ experiences. He also has an interest in stand-up comedy, drawing on his experiences as an openly gay transgender man to make light of things which otherwise might not be discussed. Ben's comedy has taken him around the country, from Manchester all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe.
1 Year has been shown around the globe, from a UNICEF talk about youth filmmaking and creating empathy in Kathmandu, Nepal, to the Geelong Pride Film Festival in Australia and an LGBT+ History Month exhibition at the University of Salford. 1 Year also won our Film of the Month competition back in September 2019.
I can't believe that my film - which started out as an idea for a Facebook post - has made it this far! It's truly an honour.Ben Hodge, Into Film Award winning filmmaker
Ben is currently making a film about his hometown of St Helens and how the closing of the mining industry affected their town and culture, and aims to screen the final product in a community cinema.
The Into Film Awards ceremony was due to take place in March 2020, with David Walliams as host, but was sadly unable to go ahead as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Walliams was still on hand to host our virtual ceremony, and you can see the moment he announced 1 Year as winner in the clip below.
We caught up with Ben two years later in 2022 who had this to say about what it meant to win an Into Film Award and his journey since then: "Winning Best Documentary came as a huge shock and Into Film have continued to stay in touch and support my filmmaking career. Since the last Awards, I have graduated university, moved to Manchester and I am currently working on two documentaries centred around LGBTQ+ experiences. I've also been lucky to lead workshops around using lived experiences in media to encourage more positive representation! Although I look back on my film and see so many areas for improvement, the narrative does speak to audiences and I believe that is the main reason it is still shared and appreciated by many. I would encourage anyone who wants to start filmmaking even if it is just on your phone, to enter the Into Film Awards. Even if you just use your phone, you never know what gems you might create!"
He also commented on Into Film's extensive programme of films and resources around LGBTQ+ experiences/history: "Showing young people LGBTQ+ films and media in the classroom is only going to create a more positive and open environment for self-exploration and self-expression. In school, if my teachers had access to and utilised the resources and films that are on offer, I probably would've had better mental health, greater understanding of myself, and I wouldn't have had to hide myself around peers who don't understand what it is to be LGBTQ+. Encourage conversations about what that means as well as what self-expression and understanding looks like - it will really create a more inclusive community within your school"
Originally rated 18, we've negotiated a very special 15 certificate version of 'Mario' that Into Film Clubs can now order exclusively from our catalogue.
Reading time 6 mins
Following the success of 'A Fantastic Woman' we look at ten more great films that deal with gender identity, transgender issues, and transitional experiences.
Reading time 5 mins
A selection of films exploring and celebrating issues and discussion points surrounding LGBTQ+ stories around the world.
No. of films20
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