Ten Stories for Ten Year: Into Film Awards

15 Apr 2024

4 mins
Ten Stories for Ten Years: Into Film Awards
Ten Stories for Ten Years: Into Film Awards

In 2020, Ben Hodge won Best Documentary at the Into Film Awards with 1 Year, a powerful and very personal film. The documentary follows Ben's journey through his first year of taking testosterone, as he transitioned to become a transgender man. Now 23, Ben graduated in Media & Performance at the University of Salford. Below, he tells us about the inspiration and impact that Into Film's support has had on his fledgling filmmaking career

I love the fact that my film is now one of Into Film's resources.

Ben Hodge, Into Film Award winner

"When I was at school, I was bullied and used to self-harm. I didn't think I'd make it to 18. But I did, and I'm so proud of everything I've achieved. My film is really a letter to my 14-year-old self - I wanted to tell that person, 'You will be happy and thrive'. 

I've always dabbled with film. At college, I'd make vlogs, music videos and record events. I loved all of it: filming, editing and performing. That's why I'm both behind and in front of the camera in 1 Year.

I feel like the whole point of making a film is for people to see it, so I submitted it to lots of festivals that I found through Into Film's website. And, thanks to Into Film, it's been shown everywhere from Australia to Kathmandu! It felt like my face was everywhere; I never expected such a positive reaction.

I love the fact that my film is now one of Into Film's resources, and teachers are using it in the classroom. If someone who is trans sees that you can live a normal life, that's incredible. In my school, if teachers had access to and utilised the resources and films that are on offer, I probably would've had better mental health, a greater understanding of myself, and wouldn't have had to hide myself around peers who don't understand what it is to be LGBTQ+.

The 1 Year story isn't over. I've been developing the film for BBC Sounds, and also have an idea for a longer film I want to make. I also got really interested in sound at university - there's so much more about filmmaking I want to learn.

My advice to other young filmmakers is just to get out there and find what you're passionate about. Even if something doesn't work, you'll learn and get better. Be proactive and good things will come."

1 Year by Ben Hodge

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