Screen and Film School Manchester Student wins BFI Film Challenge

8 November, 2021

Spooky season may be coming to an end, but Bonfire Night is still fresh in the mind and fireworks are high in the sky for Screen and Film School Manchester student Haris Robinson. Last week Haris was announced as the overall winner of a BFI Film Challenge, setup in conjunction with their Northern Film Hub and HOME.

BFI Network Talent Executive Roxy Mckenna and writer and director Lucy Rose visited The Film School for a Halloween-specific Masterclass. This outstanding showpiece formed part of our ‘Industry Thursdays,’ which the students have been thoroughly enjoying since the term started in September.

The challenge, which was set to students by Roxy in the run up to Halloween, required them to submit short, spooky films of under 3 minutes, created on their mobile phones. The students were lucky enough to get direct feedback from Lucy and Roxy and have their films entered into the wider competition hosted by HOME, which was also open to anyone aged between 16 – 25 and living in the North of England.

Haris was lucky enough to win the £200 top prize and the chance of a meeting a Film4 executive too. We couldn’t be prouder of Haris and his achievements. In fact, many of our undergraduates took part in the challenge and impressed the judges.

Perfect Likeness was the title of the successful entry by Haris; the judges had this to say about the impressive style of his winning effort:

Perfect Likeness is the winner of our first BFI Film Academy North DIY challenge. BFI Film Academy are thrilled to be able to celebrate what one very talented person can do with very little! A beautiful film, brilliantly executed and a delight to watch. Not only did it demonstrate accomplished skills across camera, lighting, animation, editing and sound, but it also stood out for capturing an authored tone, demonstrating real confidence and a flair for storytelling. We are excited to find out more about his hopes and ambitions and can’t wait to watch this talent develop, he clearly has a promising future ahead of him.”

Perfect Likeness Movie

Knockout praise from the BFI judges, and a real feather in the cap for our budding filmmaker Haris. Here is how he reacted to the news and the £200 bursary award:

“I went in with a pretty rough, experimental entry, so I had kind of convinced myself from the start that a more focused, polished and conventional short was more deserving of the win. If anything, it’s good to know my risk was rewarded, especially against such intimidatingly high-quality competition.”

Congratulations to Haris- and the good news doesn’t stop there for Screen and Film School Manchester; two other efforts by our students were placed in the runner-up category by the judges. Aaron Simpson and Muhammed Bittaye worked together on Revenant. The judges remarked that this was another high-calibre short, and it has also been selected to be part of a special festival that HOME will be hosting in March 2022. The judges were particularly impressed with the craftsmanship shown on Revenant, and were fond of the look, and strong visual style. It was one of the few entries which genuinely made the panel jump out of their seats.

Wrong Floor by Jack Williams

Remarkably for our school, we had another success with Wrong Floor by Jack Williams, which also placed as a runner-up. Jack had help from fellow first year students Chloe Bush, Ben Redgrave and Tom Maher. The judges said of this of Jack’s group effort: “We loved the tone and feel of this film. Centred as it was around a simple visual trick involving a staircase, the film maker created a concise and effective short.”

Great news is coming from our campus in the North of England, pleasant surprises seem to be around every corner. The talent and potential of our students at Screen and Film School Manchester is frightening!


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