Oscar nominee back on home ground

From left,  Barbara Wilcox, Alan Livesey, Dr Andrew Ireland, Mark Gill and Ric Michael.
From left, Barbara Wilcox, Alan Livesey, Dr Andrew Ireland, Mark Gill and Ric Michael.
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PRESTON’S Oscar-nomninated film producer returned to the city to share his success.

University of Central Lancashire graduate Mark Gill, who made this year’s Oscars shortlist in the live-action short films category with his film The Voorman Problem, opened the Lancashire International Film Festival (LIFE).

The event brought film makers to UCLan for a two-day event of new screenings, master classes and pitching opportunities.

The film production graduate , who also has a Bafta to his credit, was guest of honour and discussed the success of The Voorman Problem, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, and how he and partner Baldwin Li formed Honlodge Productions and stepped out into the world of international film.

Mark said he was honoured to return to “where it all started” and added that he was driven by a passion for his subject.

He said: “ I’ve had some great support at UCLan from tutors who championed me from the very beginning so it’s nice to return to Preston and give something back.

“My advice to anyone starting out in the industry is to get as much work experience as possible and have a drive and passion to succeed.

You will be told “No” 99 per cent of the time but eventually you will find one person who will say yes; it’s a passion for what you do that will keep you going.”

The free festival was held last weekend and visitors were also treated to masterclasses with industry experts, saw pop-up cinemas screening newly commissioned work, talks from recent award winners and workshops with industry professionals; alongside a symposium featuring some of animation’s most influential women.

LIFE Creative Director Ric Michael from UCLan’s School of Journalism and Media said: “We were delighted to welcome Mark back to Preston to share his success story and inspire future film makers.

“UCLan has hosted this successful festival since 2010 when it was set up to celebrate 10 years of film production at the University.

“It is a great platform to bring some of the best new film makers from around the world together right here in Lancashire.”