College lecturer shortlisted for film award for second year running

25th January 2019

An inspirational lecturer at Stratford-upon-Avon College has once again been nominated for a prestigious national film award in recognition of her exceptional teaching.

Creative Media lecturer Sarah Downing, who lives in Stratford and has taught at the College for 12 years, is one of the final three shortlisted in the Teacher of the Year category for the Into Film Awards 2019, in acknowledgment of her success in developing student engagement and employability through her teaching of film.

Sarah is delighted to have been shortlisted for the award for the second year running as it once again recognises her work as a teacher. Of her many achievements, she is most pleased by the impact her outstanding teaching has on her students. “Knowing that I help students to go on to achieve their dream careers is the thing I’m most proud of. Each year, I see them progress to careers or university, and I hear back from them from all over the world.”

Sarah Downing helping students with filming
Stratford-upon-Avon College Creative Media and Film lecturer Sarah Downing

She sees great benefit in the Creative Media course’s recent shift in emphasis towards more filmmaking, with students’ projects being screened at a number of festivals including the Birmingham Film Festival. She has also secured a collaboration with the Stratford Literary Festival which will allow her students to produce short films to be screened at the Festival itself.

Sarah’s list of contacts is impressive. She is proud of the number of industry professionals, from filmmakers to actors, who have visited the College as guest lecturers in the last year. Reflecting on the benefit such visits bring to the students’ studies, she commented: “Industry engagement is essential. That’s one of the things I’ve been able to arrange thanks to my work with Into Film” and cites a College visit from actor George Mackay – star of the Oscar nominated film Captain Fantastic –who spoke to students about his career, after she met him at last year’s Into Film Awards ceremony.

“For students to have access to people who work in many different areas of the industry provides an essential professional perspective. Meeting these guest speakers helps the students to understand that working in the media is achievable.”

Into Film is a charity which promotes the use of film as an educational tool in schools and colleges throughout the UK. This year’s award ceremony will take place at London’s Leicester Square on Monday 4th March.

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.

Find out more about the College’s Digital Media Production courses: Digital Media Production courses