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Father and step-daughter win awards at Welsh Film Festival.

The short film Not, directed by John Bryan Evans, a student at Bangor University and former pupil of Ysgol Friars, won the Best Welsh language film award at Ffresh, the student moving image festival in Wales, and his step daughter also received the Best Actress award for her wonderful performance in the film.

The 12 minute film is about Nia, a young mother in an abusive relationship, whose two young daughters grow up having to watch their mother beaten and bullied. The story is told through the eyes of the children, and has been described as ‘an unflinching look at oppression in the home.’

Long I Stood There, directed by John Evans and Mat Owen, also won the Welsh Royal Television Society award for best Fiction Film.

John, 32, from Bangor, is currently studying an MA in Filmmaking after he gained a BA in Film Studies here at the School of Creative Studies and Media. His stepdaughter, Ceri, 11, was 9 years old at the time of filming and attends Ysgol Tregarth near Bangor.

John said: “It was amazing that Not won the awards. It obviously nice to receive a personal award but I think when Ceri won the best actress award, that was by far the best feeling of the evening.

“Not being nominated and coming second place in the Royal Television Society awards was a major surprise but to find out my other film, Long I Stood There, had actually won the Royal Television Society award for best fiction literally knocked me off my feet.

“Everyone at the School of Creative Studies and Media has been such a support and these awards are just as much theirs.

“Not is a difficult film to watch and at times it was difficult to write and film. British film has a long and successful tradition of producing raw social drama. So the film’s style was very much inspired and in the tradition of this ethic.

“I am very close to this film, a cliché but like it is one of my children. I'm very protective of it and at the same time very proud of what we all managed to produce. The crew were amazing and the cast were unbelievable, especially when you consider the difficulty in the subject.

The Ffresh event, which showcases, celebrates and inspires students currently studying moving image degrees in Wales, was held an event at Glyndŵr University, Wrexham from February 20th to 22nd 2013.

Joanna Wright, lecturer in Media Practice at Bangor University, said: "We are delighted with the success of our students at the Ffresh film festival in Wrexham. This is an excellent result for undergraduate production work in competition against graduate and post graduate student productions from across Wales. It's a testament to our undergraduate production courses that so many talented graduates have stayed on at the School for the MA in Filmmaking, we'll look forward to entering their work next year."

About the film, the judges said: “Lovely clear, strong storytelling with inspired editing during the domestic violence and some extraordinary performances drawn out of very young children by the director. There was a maturity to this piece of work. The direction and editing was skillful and effective. The director achieved an amazing and natural performance by the two young children, which is a talent. The sound was well thought out and very effective. The whole style of the piece was perfectly suited to the subject.”

Publication date: 11 March 2013