Yes, I have been to my first film awards ceremony as an entrant, so to speak. Last year I helped out on the production of a short film called Coins, a Victorian drama that was funded by First Light Movies, which was created and starred young people from my local area. Check it out on the Vimeo.
Then a couple of months ago we heard that the film had been nominated for an award in the Best Drama category at First Light Movies own Awards Ceremony at the Leicester Square Odeon in London.
I ended up organising the basic arrangements of informing the cast and crew, and then securing the tickets. I had a few problems along the way, but ultimately a small group of cast and crew all made their way down to London today, including two of the actresses, Kim and Estella, and the writer and star of the film William Jones.
The info pack had said that judges of the films had included Matt Smith, Toby Jones and Martin Freeman - but unfortunately none of them turned up to the ceremony. However, to my extreme surprise and delight Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright - of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead fame - were there to present the award for best comedy. To my delight again Damien Molony from Being Human was also there to present a prize!
The ceremony was lots of fun with a comedian and a puppet dog Hacker from CBBC hosting, and a YouTube comedian warming up the crowd at the beginning. We also got free goody bags containing a book on Bond villains, popcorn and a voucher for money off at Odeon, almost other things.
All the films shown looked very good, and I was impressed with the quality and ideas all the young people had come with, and with the documentary topics - which ranged from charms to drugs.
Our category was at the very end, and unfortunately we did not win. Nonetheless, I think the experience has been great, that merely getting nominated was an honour and that all the young people involved should be proud of the film.
And that's pretty much, in condensed form, what happened - and it was pretty awesome. There are just a couple of extra things to mention, first on the way back from the party, we ran into a crowd of people outside another Odeon near the one we were in, all waiting by a red carpet and realised we were walking past the beginning's of the premiere for Danny Boyle's new film Trance!
Secondly, as Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright walked past our seats after giving out the prize, Pegg started to high-five people on the end of the rows - including my sister who put her hand up! Talk about an incredible moment. I'm quite jealous actually.
Anyway, an excellent if tiring day, and I recommend you check out the young talent that one day may be making the next big films at First Light Movies website.