Oscar nomination for UCLan graduate with eye on Hollywood

Making waves: Mark Gill has directed an Oscar-nominated film starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander
Making waves: Mark Gill has directed an Oscar-nominated film starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander
Have your say

According to his dad film director Mark Gill has never had a proper job.

The former University of Central Lancashire went from being a musician to studying film production.

Now he is on top of the world after being nominated for an Oscar.

The Voorman Problem, which he directed, is one of 120 films that originally qualified for the award in the live-action short films category before being selected as one of the 10 on the final shortlist .

The film, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, is Mark’s first and he couldn’t believe it when it made the shortlist.

He runs his own production company in Manchester and waited nervously for news of the nominees - announced in Beverley Hills yesterday.

Mark said: “Waiting was pretty horrific.

“We were nominated for a Bafta last year and it wasn’t as bad because we no had no idea as nobody talks about it.

“But to get nominated for the shortlist then have to wait is awful. It’s been pretty horrific. I am just so relieved that the wait is finally over.

“It is weird but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else it ( the waiting) has made me ill most of the day.”

However, he added: “ Receiving the nomination is just “great” and will provide a great launch pad.

“I’ve not made a full feature film yet but there is one in development and for the people interested, for me to have an Oscar nomination is great.”

The film follows a psychiatrist who is sent to a prison to examine an inmate with a peculiar affliction - he believes he’s a god.

Mark, who graduated from UCLan in 2004, met his producer Baldwin Li in 2008.

After finishing the first Voorman draft, Mark showed it to Baldwin. He loved it and the pair have never looked back.

His love of films - which he described as a obsession, began as a youngster and he has always been involved in the creative industries.

Mark is no stranger to success , winning a Royal Television Society award for Best Student Documentary during his studies in Preston.

He said:“My time at UCLan was enjoyable and gave me a good foundation for moving forward with my work.”

“I received a lot of support while I was there, particular from Alan Keegan who believed in me from my very first film and encouraged me to get industry experience during my studies; a valuable lesson for any student.”

“I also have to acknowledge Dean Summers (now course leader at Sheffield Hallam) who taught a valuable theory module which actually now underpins more of my work than anything else.”

The 86th Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday on March 2.