2007 Awardee: Jenny Randall

You cannot imagine how grateful I am or how happy I was on opening your letter! Thank you a million times over.

Biography

Jenny was born in Vancouver and moved to Scotland with her family when she was seven. She has wanted to make films since she was twelve years old. It was a double thrill to be accepted to study film production in the city where she spent her early years.

Jenny started her formal training in film making at Dundee University on the Time Based Art Programme, where she specialised in film. She was considered to be one of the most talented students on the programme where she achieved top grades in all her assessments.

While a student she entered a climbing film Brick and Mortar Disorder, on rock climbing on buildings, into the Dundee Mountain Film Festival and won second place in the People’s Choice competition. She demonstrated her talent and potential for film-making by bringing a fresh approach and a sense of humour to the genre.

Jenny’s short film ‘Stupidity Pays’ can be viewed on the Channel4 4Talent website, and her film ‘Rat’ has been nominated for a Royal Television Society Student Award. She is the second awardee to be supported to study at the prestigious Vancouver Film School.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help fund Jenny at Vancouver Film School to study film production.

Since the Award

Jen successfully graduated from VFS and moved back to Glasgow in 2009 to look for work.  She writes, “with a script in my back pocket and an eagerness to get in touch with the contacts I have [in Glasgow].. I am very excited to be returning to Scotland, and I will always be extremely grateful to Dewar Arts Awards for supporting me.”

You cannot imagine how grateful I am or how happy I was on opening your letter! Thank you a million times over.

2007 Awardee: Michael Osborne

I was thrilled to receive your letter of award.

Biography

Dumfries-born Michael graduated with distinction from Queen Margaret University College in 2005 with a degree in stage management and theatre production. Since graduation he has been working freelance in Scotland’s theatre and film industry towards his long-term goal to become a producer.

While an undergraduate, Michael’s particular interest was in stagecraft and screencraft. He was employed by the university as cinematographer and line producer on a number of undergraduate films shot as part of the BA Acting course. One film, Watching’, was screened at a number of short film festivals and for a week on Sky TV.

Since graduation, he has worked on a number of films in different capacities. Recently a short film on which he collaborated was screened at the 2007 Leith Festival and the New York Minute Film Festival.

Michael is considered to have all the attributes needed to become a successful producer; talent, creativity, drive and enthusiasm. To help him to the next stage in his career, Michael identified a number of courses that would provide him with the skills and experience he needs.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award is funding Michael to attend a series of professional courses in film production.

Since the Award

Michael attended two courses on Moving into Management and on Production Management. As a result, he has been consistently employed during the worst part of the economic downturn of 2008-9. The benefits of the courses eventually helped him to secure a permanent position at one of the major schools in Edinburgh as Production Manager, responsible for all their drama productions.

I was thrilled to receive your letter of award.

2007 Awardee: Oliver Smith

I am delighted that I will be able to continue my animation career, and I will try to live up to your expectations.

Biography

It’s not that unusual for a twelve-year-old to be a whizz at computers. But what is remarkable about Oliver Smith is that he entered Digital Eden, a competition for adults as part of the 2006 Inverness Film Festival, and was one of six winners. His winning entry, a 6-minute animated short film based on the 1970’s hit MASH!, was described as ‘clever, inventive and humorous’. It was a great success with the public.

The prize was to produce a film based on this idea, with mentoring from a film professional. Oliver demonstrated creativity, determination and maturity way beyond his years to those who worked with him on this further project. In 2007 his film was short-listed out of over 120 entries for the National Young Filmmakers Award.

Oliver began his interest in animation by producing animated sections on his primary school’s website. In 2005 when still in Primary 7 Oliver, along with a friend of his own age and using a camcorder and basic movie making software, won an ‘Albert’ prize (Arts in Motion) for their live action short film ‘The Pillow Killers’.

At his young age, it is impossible to say what Oliver will do professionally. But at the moment, he is keen to pursue a career in film-making.

All we can say is, his creativity and interest in film-making are rare in someone so young. He may well be an important Scottish film-maker of the future.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Oliver to buy a computer and software to help with develop his next film-making project.

Since the Award

November 2007 – Oliver’s short animation film ‘Go Practise’ was nominated for a BAFTA.

April 2008 – Oliver received the ‘Up and Coming Youngster Award’ at the Moray Firth Radio Awards.

I am delighted that I will be able to continue my animation career, and I will try to live up to your expectations.

2006 Awardee: Erica Eyres

The Dewar Award gave me the financial freedom to concentrate while completing my work for these projects, and allowed me to afford the necessary materials without having to compromise my ideas.

Biography

A senior teacher at the Glasgow School of Art describes Erica as “without doubt one of the best artists I have ever encountered in over twenty years of teaching”.

Originally from Canada, Erica is currently working in Glasgow. Her work explores human failings, aspirations/dreams and eccentricities in ways which are sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes moving and sometimes hilarious. Equally skilled in sculpture, painting, drawing and video, Erica has developed a unique and individual voice in all of these media.

Her work has already found critical acclaim and in 2006 she was nominated for the Beck’s Futures Prize. She is regarded as one of the most promising young artists working at the moment. With her Dewar Award, Erica was able to mount solo exhibitions of her work in London and Glasgow and attend an artist’s residency in Toronto.

These have led to other exciting opportunities, including other group exhibition in London, focussing on portraiture in contemporary art. A video she made in Toronto, and which was received extremely well, is being submitted to film festivals throughout Canada, by a Winnipeg-based organisation.  Erica is now represented in Toronto, China and Japan, where her work can be shown regularly in galleries.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards enabled Erica to mount exhibitions of her work in Glasgow and London and attend a residency in Toronto, Canada. She writes, “these exhibitions and the residency are important milestones in my career and they have helped to take my work and reputation as an artist to the next level.”

The Dewar Award gave me the financial freedom to concentrate while completing my work for these projects, and allowed me to afford the necessary materials without having to compromise my ideas.

2005 Awardee: Jillian Smith (Now Jillian Mannion)

My year at VFS has given me the skills and confidence to return to Scotland and become a screenwriter who can hopefully have a profound affect on the entertainment industry.

Biography

Jillian Smith is the first writer to win a Dewar Arts Award. She has been writing since a very young age.

Described as a precocious talent by her university tutors, Jillian demonstrated as an undergraduate that she was equally fluent in writing poetry, academic essays or film scripts.

Jillian worked regularly with the Writer in Residence at Dundee University and joined Creative Writing Groups to hone her writing skills. Like all budding writers she has been sending her work away since a teenager.

In 2005 Jillian gained a first in English at Dundee University and is now fulfilling her life’s ambition of studying writing for film and TV at the prestigious Vancouver Film School.

Towards the end of her course, an agent who specialises in selling feature film scripts to major Hollywood production companies visited the Film School to have students pitch their ideas to him. Jillian wrote to say that her idea for a feature film had caught his eye.

Katherine Montagu, a tutor on the Vancouver Film School writing course wrote to the trustees after Jillian’s graduation, “You should be very proud that you had the foresight to invest in the education of a brilliant young writer like Jillian Smith.”

How the Award Helped

Jillian received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Vancouver Film School.

Since the Award

“Love Bites”, a feature film romantic comedy that Jillian co-wrote, went into production in early 2009, directed by Katrin Bowen and produced by Cherry-Lee Fast of Fast Productions.

2013 – Screenplay for Random Acts of Romance Nominated for a Leo Award.

My year at VFS has given me the skills and confidence to return to Scotland and become a screenwriter who can hopefully have a profound affect on the entertainment industry.

2005 Awardee: Benjamin Kracun

I am sincerely honoured to have been awarded the Dewar Arts Award. Without the Award I would never have been able to follow my passion for Cinematography.

Biography

Benjamin has long been interested in story telling, first through photography and later film. Benjamin grew up in rural Dumfriesshire as a first generation Scot of his Croatian father, who was made stateless after the break-up of Yugoslavia, and his German mother.

A graduate of Napier University, Benjamin’s graduation film was nominated for best British short at the 2004 Edinburgh International Film Festival. Subsequently he worked as Director of Photography on a Cineworks commission, ‘Suburban Home’, directed by a fellow Napier graduate, which was considered to be one of the year’s most accomplished productions. He is considered to be one of the brightest and most talented Scottish film-makers of his year.

Benjamin was later awarded a place on the cinematography course at the highly-regarded National Film and TV School in Beaconsfield, where he hopes to develop both his technical skills and creative practice.

For Those in Peril

Review in Variety Magazine
Feature in The Independent
Film details on IMDB

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will fund Benjamin through his two-year course on cinematography.

Since the Award

Benjamin graduated a Master of Arts in Cinematography with a Commendation. Two of his films were premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival, his graduation fiction film ‘One in Four’ and a documentary. While still at NFTS, Benjamin won first prize for a Kodak Student commercial. After graduation, Benjamin went straight into filming with Henry Coombes.

Benjamin Kracun has become an award winning Scottish Director of Photography, he is a visionary known for his powerful and emphatic aesthetics. His 2013 feature ‘For Those In Peril’ (directed by fellow Awardee Paul Wright) premiered at Cannes International Film Festival and won Best Debut at the BIFAs along with two BAFTA Scotland awards including Best Film. His 2012 feature film ‘The Comedian’ was nominated for the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature at The London Film Festival.

Benjamin on the set of ‘One Night’

I am sincerely honoured to have been awarded the Dewar Arts Award. Without the Award I would never have been able to follow my passion for Cinematography.

2004 Awardee: Luke Fowler

Biography

Glasgow-based artist, Luke Fowler, graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in 2000 and has specialised in film documentaries on sociological, historical or cultural issues.

A leading Scottish curator described Luke as “one of the most exciting and ambitious artists working in Scotland.”

In 2005 he was short-listed for the important Beck’s Futures Award.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award funded the production of a film on the work of British composer Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra project.

Since the Award

Luke’s Award-funded film, “Pilgrimage From Scattered Points”, premiered in Glasgow in 2006 to critical acclaim and was later shown at Tate Britain as part of the Tate Triennial, a survey of new British Art.  It has been selected for showing at a number of major film festivals.  Luke writes: “The Scratch Orchestra project had, to my mind, a wealth of fascinating issues attached to its legacy; questions of the social function of art and music to society, the role of the artist in that society and the question of art for whom?”

Luke went on to Bamberg, Germany to take up a one year residency at Villa Concordia, thanks, in part, to recognition from the Dewar Arts Award. He is now an established member of the vibrant Glasgow art scene and has been shortlisted for the 2012 Turner Prize.

For a detailed list of Luke’s exhibitions and projects, click here.

The Guardian – Turner Prize 2012 Film Clip

Alasdair Roberts “Under No Enchantment” Directed by Luke Fowler

Glasgow Film Festival: Adrian Laing (son of R.D. Laing) talks about Luke’s film All Divided Selves