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Lights, Camera, Action! Newbury students are off to Pinewood Studios





Newbury pupils are preparing to take part in an exciting career-building opportunity.

A-Level film studies students from St Bartholomew’s School Amelia Piszczek, Jennifer Bibin and Laura Swanson and A-Level media studies student Elliott Rabinowitz have all been accepted onto a highly competitive short course run by the British Film Institute (BFI).

St Bart’s A-Level Film & Media Studies students Elliott Rabinowitz, Amelia Piszczek, Laura Swanson and Jennifer Bibin
St Bart’s A-Level Film & Media Studies students Elliott Rabinowitz, Amelia Piszczek, Laura Swanson and Jennifer Bibin

They will be mentored by industry professionals to make their own short film at the world-famous Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire — the backdrop for Hollywood classics such as the James Bond and Mission: Impossible films.

Film and media studies teacher, Jonny Roberts, explained that out of 200 students who applied across the South-East, only 50 made it to the interview stage.

He said: “It is a huge achievement that St Bart’s has had four students accepted following this competitive process.

“We're so proud of all of them and it'll certainly be a big boost for their future careers in the industry to have this experience."

Film studies student, Laura Swanson, added: “We have already had our first session of the BFI Academy, which included some fascinating talks on different routes into the industry.

“We also had a tour of the studios, where we saw lots of sound stages, including the Sean Connery stage, the Underwater stage and the Paddock Tank.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm so grateful to be a part of this.”

This achievement follows the recent success for St Bart’s student entries in the 2023 Eduqas Moving Image Awards.

Students Harvey Miller (shortlisted) and Isaac Ayling (highly commended) produced TV sequences, while Callum Doddington (shortlisted) and Clara Allison (highly commended) produced music videos.

St Bart’s alumni Harvey Miller, Clara Allison, Isaac Ayling and Callum Doddington pictured at the school’s Key Stage 5 Awards Evening in December
St Bart’s alumni Harvey Miller, Clara Allison, Isaac Ayling and Callum Doddington pictured at the school’s Key Stage 5 Awards Evening in December

They will be attending the prestigious national award ceremony at BFI Southbank next month.

All four students have gone on to study media or film at universities in Bournemouth, Warwick and the Northern Film School.

St Bart’s now turns its attention to its house film competition at the beginning of February, which was judged last by actor, Adam Kotz, and camera operator, Omar Soomro.

Students will produce eight short films, two for each house.

Year 10 pupils will be collaborating with Years 7-9 pupils in the junior category and Year 13 students will be leading a team of Year 11-12s in the senior category.

The winners will see their film screened at Vue Cinema Newbury.

Headteacher, David Fitter, said: “The film and media department continues to grow from strength to strength and we are delighted to see our students recognised for their outstanding creativity and hard work.

“I have no doubt we will see many future alumni achieving great things in the industry.”



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