UWL graduate Rebecca Harris is Oscar winner!

Rebecca Harris

A film produced by a UWL graduate has won an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood, in what is an incredible achievement by a former student of the University.

Rebecca Harris attended the star-studded ceremony in the early hours of this morning (Monday), at which her film, The Silent Child, was among Oscar winners including World War II blockbuster, Dunkirk, British actor Gary Oldham, director Guillermo del Toro and actress Frances McDormand.

It is an absolutely stunning accomplishment for Rebecca, 25, who studied BA Film Production at UWL’s London School of Film, Media and Design. Promotional efforts for The Silent Child film included a social media campaign which current UWL students and academics supported, about the importance of disability as a central ingredient of diversity.

Rebecca said: ‘It’s bonkers and still hasn’t sunk in for me. ‘Hearing 'The Silent Child' read out while they named the nominations was surreal enough. I froze when they announced we’d won. It was an indescribable feeling. Seeing Rachel and Chris speak about the message of the film on the biggest stage in the world was very emotional and we’re all living a dream right now.

‘We can’t wait to bring the Oscar home to our family and friends in the UK and to continue our work. Like all of our team I’ve received so many beautiful and supportive messages, it’s been overwhelming. After the ceremony I looked at my phone and I couldn’t believe the number of messages there were, I’d never seen anything like it - then I realised they were mostly from my family whatsapp group! They are over the moon for us. I can’t wait to hug my mum and dad.’

Empowering students to succeed by teaching them the key skills they need to enjoy rewarding careers is an pivotal part of the University of West London’s mission as The Career University. Rebecca’s success at last night’s Academy Awards in Hollywood is a wonderful confirmation that the sky is the limit for UWL graduates.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Rebecca praised the University at which she began her journey to Oscar glory. She said: 'Studying at UWL helped me work out what I was good at, introduced me to the right people and it definitely gave me the tools to help start off my career.'

Paul Lohneis, the Head of the London School of Film, Media and Design, said: ‘This is great news and we’re absolutely delighted for Rebecca that her film has won this global award. The film she produced is a very worthwhile project which has now been recognised in the best possible way. It is fantastic that the School now has an Oscar winner among its alumni, having come close with a nomination in 2013.’

Rebecca Harris

Learn more about The Silent Child film

Find out more about the London School of Film, Media and Design. Check out the University on Twitter: @UWL_LSFMD