UWL Oscar winners return to inspire next generation of talent

Rebecca Harris and Tom Turner at the University

Two UWL graduates who worked on the Oscar-winning film ‘The Silent Child’ this week returned to the University where their journey to Hollywood’s red carpet began.

Producer Rebecca Harris and assistant director Tom Turner joined a packed screening of the movie at the William Barry lecture theatre and then took part in a question-and-answer session about the Academy Award-winning short film, which tells the story a small deaf girl.

The pair discussed their contribution to making ‘The Silent Child’ and the inspirational journey of the project – which had a budget of only £10,000 and was filmed in 10 days – all the way to the movie industry’s biggest awards show in March. They also brought along the golden Oscar statue for Best Live Action Short Film.

Rebecca, who studied BA Film Production at UWL’s London School of Film, Media and Design and graduated in 2013, revealed the role the University has played in her success.

She said: ‘It was through UWL and the people I met here (that led to her getting involved in the project). A friend of mine who also studied at the University introduced me to the director and the owner of the company behind this film, so I’m very lucky I went to UWL, otherwise this Oscar wouldn’t be here now.’

Rebecca and Tom also had advice for the next generation of talent who are currently studying film production at UWL, highlighting the benefits of creating a high-quality final year project, the importance of film festivals as a means of publicity and the value of ‘being nice to everyone’ as a young professional seeking to enter the competitive industry.

Tom and Rebecca’s success has been a great source of pride at the University, where they learnt the skills which set both on the road to the Academy Awards. 

Commenting on the Oscar win, Paul Lohneis, the Head of the London School of Film, Media and Design, said: ‘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.’

The Oscar for The Silent Child was popular at the event

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