Young filmmakers between the ages of 7 and 18 were honored today in Leicester Square by the UK Film Council for their digital short films - and among the judges were none other than Harry Potter actors Kenneth Branagh and Emma Watson.
All the winners we spoke to proclaimed themselves shocked and amazed when they won – but thanked teachers and parents rather than agents and hairdressers. To win they had to impress a panel of judges which included such luminaries as Kenneth Brannagh, Samantha Morton, Jamie Bell and Harry Potter’s Emma Watson. Emma said "When I saw the films I was so surprised. I couldn’t believe it had come from people my age."
You can view a list of today's First Light Award winners at the above link.
"I judged the comedy category and I have to say I was so pleased to be picked as a judge. I've never done anything like it before and when I saw the films I was so surprised, they were so good. I couldn't believe it had come from people my age, the actresses, the camera, all the different ideas, the script. Some of them had been really, really clever with how they'd used the camera, they faded some bits out, they'd cut different bits in and out and I was really amazed with how excellent they were - I was really surprised."
In fact, the Editor of Empire Online has confirmed that Emma didn't actually attend yesterday's Awards ceremony, even though she did serve as a judge for the event.
Update II: The UK Film Council Press Office was kind enough to send me some additional pics of the Awards ceremony, which you can see here. They also informed me that each juror was sent copies of the films for the category they were judging, and then given time to review and decide which they preferred - which explains why many of the jurors (including Emma) weren't present for the actual ceremonies, and that their messages were broadcast at the ceremony.