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The London Schools’ Film Competition

The London Schools’ Film Competition launched in March 2022 to provide a fair and balanced filmmaking competition for schools to enter competitively. Too many competitions are skewed in terms of restrictive narratives or mandatory product placement, etc. The competition was therefore established to give schools, and their pupils, a platform to demonstrate their skills in the best light.  

The competition was fierce, and all entries were strong contenders for the best short film. Entry in the first year was by invitation only, and we had 15 entries with seven final submissions. The competing schools were Mill Hill School, Mill Hill International, Hitchin Boys’ School, King Alfred School, Cleeve Park School, Harris Science Academy of East London and JFS (The Jewish Free School). Please click here to watch the full set of entries.

Mill Hill School’s entry was written and produced by Samuel S (School House), Head of Video Production. Making up Sam’s principal film crew was Noah K (McClure House), who directed; Sammy M (Weymouth House), who edited and worked as director of photography; Bo F (Priestley House), who headed production design; Max M (McClure House) as principal cameraman and Blake M (Murray House) as first assistant director. Starring alongside Samuel were Grace C (Priestley House), Mr Gatherer, Director of Theatrical Performance and Ms Wright, Teacher of Drama. Samuel will write more about his film in the Spring magazine.  

The competition closed to entries in December and a judging panel was formed of industry experts. Vincent Woods is a veteran actor, writer, and director, as well as having set up London North Studios here in Mill Hill. Joining Vincent was Paul Raschid, a film director specialising in supernatural and interactive films and George Blagden, an established actor who has starred in Versailles and Vikings, amongst numerous other roles. 

The culmination of all this work led us to the awards evening on Friday 24 March. As this was the inaugural year, there was much that could have gone wrong, but I am relieved to say that the evening went without a hitch! After a welcome drinks reception, we were treated to a gala dinner, expertly provided by our fantastic in-house Catering Team and Head Chef David Pomeroy. With our stomachs fed, we assembled in the Patrick Troughton Theatre to watch the submitted films. Of the entire viewing time, 45% was taken up with Mill Hill School’s entry. The dessert bar provided by the Catering Team was a resounding success and proved to be the perfect way to calm all the teenage nerves. At the end of the night, Mill Hill School came away with four awards: 

  • Best Screenplay: Samuel S (School House) 
  • Best Youth Actor: Grace C (Priestley House) 
  • Best Supporting Actor: Samuel S (School House) 
  • Best Overall Short Film 

The judges were incredibly impressed with all the entries, but special praise was made of Samuel and Grace’s acting. When I look back at the journey, which first started late last academic year with Samuel’s basic script, the time has flown past so quickly. It took over 56 hours to film (all undertaken during evenings and weekends) and 40+ hours to edit. I am so impressed and proud of what they have achieved, and the Mill Hill community should rightly celebrate our win! 

Mr Minett, Head of ICT and Computer Science and Foundation Digital Media Coordinator