Ben Mullan wins our Ones to Watch award

25 Jun 2024 in Into Film Awards

Ben Mullan, Ones to Watch winner 2024
Ben Mullan, Ones to Watch winner 2024

Congratulations to Ben Mullan, aged 18, from Bedford, England, who has won Ones to Watch (sponsored by EON Productions) at the 2024 Into Film Awards. The award was presented by actors Jayden Revri and Zawe Ashton.

Ben is a self-taught stop motion animator who believes in the human element of filmmaking, and who is already well on his way to achieving his ambition of working for Aardman Animations.

Ones to Watch winner Ben Mullan collects his award on stage

There were four extraordinary young people nominated in this year's Ones to Watch category, and in recognition of their achievements, all four nominees can count themselves as Ones to Watch, and have won a visit to Pinewood or Shepperton Studios. They will be invited to the Young BAFTA Showcase in November. As the overall winner, Ben Mullan has also received £1,000 prize money with which to further his filmmaking endeavours.

Ben's Story

As a home educated young learner, Ben caught the animation bug aged nine, when attending a one-day animation workshop organised by his home-ed group. At age 12, he discovered our own Film of the Month competition, which gave him a way of showing his films to a wider audience. In July 2018, at age 13, Ben won Film of the Month for the first time with his film Animate and followed it up with a second win later that year with Thinking Out of the Box.

Into Film has played a huge part in encouraging me to keep making animations. Being nominated for 'Ones to Watch' makes all the hours spent animating worthwhile and inspires me to keep developing my stop motion skills.

Ben Mullan, Ones to Watch winner 2024

Ben entered school aged 13, and when the COVID-19 lockdown occurred in 2020, he and his sister took over the garage and together created a new film, The Seed, which came third in our Nature in Your Neighbourhood competition. It was inspired by the stories of wild animals wandering around in deserted town centres, and working on the animation provided a positive focus in an otherwise challenging time.

"I love creating characters and developing their storylines", said Ben upon learning of his nomination. "I try to create naturalistic movements and keep the character alive."

In 2021, Ben's film Insomnia won him yet another Film of the Month award, as well as a string of awards at other competitions and film festivals, while in February 2022 he was chosen to be part of the BFI Stop Motion Specialist online course.

In September 2023, Ben started training online with the Aardman Academy, and is now developing work for his portfolio and a new short film. After this, he hopes to continue creating his own films and apply for trainee stop motion animator positions at Aardman Animations. "I would love to work for Aardman Animations as a stop motion animator", Ben explained. "I hugely admire the creativity of their work, and their dedication to excellence."

Ones to Watch winner Ben Mullan with actors Jayden Revri and Zawe Ashton

I was really surprised and honoured to be nominated for 'Ones to Watch'. Into Film has played a huge part in encouraging me to keep making animations; the enthusiasm of the Into Film team has really motivated me so much over the years, and I cannot thank them enough.

Ben Mullan, Ones to Watch winner 2024

Ben's filmmaking consistently shows a fantastic sense of humour, as well as a fabulous command of the art of stop motion animation. He has now won our Film of the Month competition more than any other filmmaker.

"In this digital age, interest seems to be growing in stop motion animation, as the human element is becoming ever more important. The hand-crafted nature of stop motion makes it both fascinating and impactful. I want to learn all I can about stop motion animation techniques; to be able to continue and develop them in the future."

Into Film has every confidence that Ben's filmmaking will continue to go from strength to strength and we look forward to following his burgeoning career - and, of course, enjoying more of his wonderful stop motion films!

This Article is part of: Into Film Awards

Articles relating to our annual Into Film Awards, including all the nominees and winners from past years.

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