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Young Scots filmmakers honoured at star-studded Into Film Awards

© Dave BenettJack Lowden and Eddie Redmayne with Greta McMillan from Edinburgh
Jack Lowden and Eddie Redmayne with Greta McMillan from Edinburgh

Three young Scottish filmmakers have won major awards at a star-studded event attended by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, Jack Lowden and Bond star Lashana Lynch.

The Into Film Awards at Odeon Leicester Square in London celebrated the creativity of inspiring young talents making their first steps into the world of film-making and reviewing.

Among the winners was 18-year-old filmmaker Greta McMillan, from Edinburgh, whose film Change Direction won the Changes For A Better World category.

McMillan, who is a wheelchair user, utilises her pioneering Eyegaze computer to communicate and make films.

The Portobello High School pupil, inspired partly by her namesake Greta Thunberg, focussed on the climate crisis for her entry.

She said: “The climate emergency is such a huge global issue, I wanted to somehow say something as a young person who will need to deal with this as an adult… It really makes me mad.

“As a wheelchair user, filmmaking allows me to express myself creatively, and without any barriers. I make films using my eyegaze device, which wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. Advances in technology have been a real game-changer, and can allow people with disabilities to be on a level playing field”.

She was presented with her award by Eddie Redmayne and Jack Lowden.

Aniamtor Zoe Low, from Aberdeen, won Best Animation in her age category for a stop motion animated film called Mia.

The 16-year-old received her award from Lucifer star Tom Ellis.

Zoe Low and Tom Ellis (Pic: Dave Benett)

The film explores topics of loss and grief. Low said: “I wanted to base my film on a topic everyone can relate to and is something I had to go through recently.

“Grief is one of the hardest things to overcome and it is hard to let go of a person you love. One of the best ways to deal with it is by talking about it to someone else. All of this is exactly what I wanted to portray in this short film.”

11-year-old Alex from Edinburgh won Best Animation in the 11 and under category for his animation The Lonely Polar Bear.

The film was created after Alex joined a free online filmmaking course provided by Screen Education Edinburgh, which gave him his first steps into filmmaking.

He picked up his award from Pistol star Anson Boon and Doctor Who’s Thaddea Graham.

© Dave Benett
Anson Boon and Thaddea Graham present Alex with his award (Pic: Dave Benett)

Alex said: “I enjoyed learning how to make the animation and everything you have to do, for example making the storyboard. The filming took some time, but it was worth it in the end!”

The awards ceremony was hosted by broadcaster and comedian, Sue Perkins, and other celebrity presenters included Joanne Froggatt, Stacey Dooley and Michael Ajao.

Mamma Mia star Lily James, a supporter of the Into Film Awards, said: “Joining a group of like-minded young people creating their own stories and then knowing that they will be seen and appreciated is the real deal, and it gives them the impetus to keep making films and nurture that talent”.