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Congratulations to Mercer MacWilliam Hughes, aged 19, from Belfast, whose film Bob's Your Uncle has won Best Film: 16-19 Years (Sponsored by Motion Picture Solutions) at the Into Film Awards 2020.
In Mercer's film, a bickering brother and sister embark on a treasure hunt left to them by their late uncle Bob in his will... but just what is the treasure that lies at the end of it? Watch the film above to find out.
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.
Mercer - a Film of the Month winner in 2017 with his previous film, The Letter - initially made Bob's Your Uncle as part of his Moving Image Arts A2 coursework. But it was also a deeply personal story about his own experience of rivalry and clashing opinions within a competitive sibling relationship.
The film proved his most ambitious project yet, with a hugely dedicated cast putting in 10 long days of hard work to make the film. It was also very much a family project - Mercer's mother plays Mary, and offered guidance throughout, while his 15 year old brother Aaron plays John.
I feel incredibly privileged to be able to share this story that means so much to me with an audience of young people who might be able to relate to some of the issues that I worked through.Mercer MacWilliam Hughes, Into Film Award winning filmmaker
Mercer comes from a creative background thanks to his parents and was exposed to cameras from an early age, shooting many short films with their support. He then went on to pursue a formal film education, which led him to take part in numerous short film courses, including those with Into Film, the BFI and the National Youth Film Academy.
In his own words: "By the time my last year of A-Levels came around, I was determined to aim high for my final year Moving Image Arts project. The whole process took 7 months from inception to completion, involving 10 gruelling shoot days, and a huge amount of dedication from my collaborators. This is the most ambitious and longest project I've attempted so far, with 10 minutes of runtime, but it is also by far my most personal.
Bob's Your Uncle attempts to capture my experience of the nuanced rivalries and viewpoints in a sibling relationship, and I cannot thank my brother Aaron enough for sticking by me through this project. He displayed such admirable patience, commitment and endurance even when the going was tough. Ironically, telling this story of sibling rivalry could not have made me prouder of my brother".
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 Bob's Your Uncle as winner in the clip below.
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