Five Film Production students have been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Television Society Award.

Their short film, Tellyhead, has received a nomination in the Drama category of the RTS Southern Centre Student Awards 2024. The students will find out in a ceremony in Southampton later this week if they will be bringing the prize back to Canterbury.

Boy standing at a bus stop with a telly monitor on his head.

The RTS Student Awards recognise the very best work created by students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Awards encourage, nurture, support and reward talent, potential and enthusiasm of students for the creation of film and video content. Offering a great opportunity for students to put their creative talents before the critical eye of professionals, win recognition for their skills, and showcase the television, media and film industries their talents.

Editor of the film, Emma Botha, said: “Being shortlisted for an RTS Student Award is so exciting. Tellyhead was our first big project, and our first project working as a group. It was a film of many firsts and lessons, and so for it to reach the level it has is super exciting. There’s so much character within the film and for that to be recognised by an outside audience is really something.”

view of the back of boy walking down the aisle in a shop, with a rucksack on his back and a telly monitor on his head

Tellyhead is the story of a young neurodivergent schoolboy as he bunks class to visit his sister on her birthday. Trying to navigate a hostile adult world, he falls foul of belligerent golfers and a particularly grumpy shopkeeper.

Emma explains: “Tellyhead is, ultimately, a story about grief. Tellyhead mourns the loss of his sister, and the effects of her death can be clearly felt throughout the film, particularly during the segments that show Tellyhead’s fractured home life.

“We learnt a lot from the process. How to work as a team in a variety of different situations, as everyday was different. We learnt that when making a film, leave as much time as possible per scene. And we also learnt that wearing a TV on your head is surprisingly uncomfortable!

“We were all surprised at the physical toll filming took on us. It was a lot of carrying kit around and travelling between locations, and the tiredness we felt is still pretty much unmatched.

“My advice for anyone embarking on producing a film would be to plan, plan and plan again. Shot lists, prop lists, timetabling and scheduling will be your best friend. While it’s fun to be creative and explore new and exciting shots and ideas, if you’re not prepared it’ll lead to rushed filming and a good amount of stress.

“Tellyhead wouldn’t have been what it is without the film tutors and technicians at Canterbury Christ Church University. We knew it was a big project to take on, especially as second years, but between the support, equipment, and knowledge that’s available to film students at the University, we as a group were able to flourish.”

Five film production students standing in a group in a classroom

Tellyhead was written and directed by Bailey Wilson, produced by Harry Cooper, Cinematography and visual effects by Alfie Kennaugh, Editor was Emma Jane Botha, Sound Design and Sound Recordist was Callum Hull, and Score and Composer was Aaron Milford.