Winstanley student secures place with British Film Institute

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Dec 12

A 17-year-old student from Winstanley College has secured a place at the British Film Institute Academy.

Matthew Humphris, who is from Billinge and a former Rainford High pupil, was scouted by industry professionals after his short film was screened at the Dukes in Lancaster.

Matthew originally directed the film titled ‘Wrath’ for YouTube, where it gained a good number of views. A Film Studies teacher at Winstanley suggested he should enter it into a competition run by HOME in Manchester. The short film competition had a theme of ‘Monstrous Situations’ for which his film, based on a serial killer, fitted the bill perfectly.

After finding out his film had been selected for the film competition, Matthew was invited to attend the screening at the Dukes. The film was screened to a full audience, including producers and directors, which is where Matthew was approached and encouraged to apply for the British Film Institute (BFI) Academy.

Matthew’s BFI application was successful, and he now attends the academy in Liverpool every Monday evening. The academy is run by Carl Hunter, a film director who has directed films with several big-name actors, including Bill Nighy.

Matthew, alongside his A-levels in Law, English Literature and Film Studies, is producing a short film in the BFI ‘Break into film’ course with a group of likeminded students, wanting to pursue a career in film, which could be entered into international film festivals.

Commenting on his whirlwind of success, Matthew said: ‘I have wanted to be a film director since I was a toddler. Thanks to the BFI Academy I now have the contacts and steppingstone I need to pursue this dream career. I can’t thank Leanne, Film Studies teacher, enough for encouraging me to enter the short film competition and opening this world of opportunity.’

Leanne Brownbill, Film Studies teacher, and Associate Principal at Winstanley College, added: ‘Matthew is a very talented Film Studies student; his work is amazing, and I have no doubt he will continue to make films that get noticed and will be a name to look out for in the future!’