Digital Media student accepted by BFI Film Academy

8th April 2022

A Digital Media student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has been accepted onto a prestigious course at the BFI Film Academy.

Lewis Hawkins, 17 from Kineton, is in his second year on the Level 3 Digital Media Extended Diploma at the College. Alongside his course, after a successful application process, he was selected to be part of a small team on the BFI Film Academy Documentary course to create a new documentary which would be screened in the capital.

To apply, Lewis had to pitch the idea of a documentary he would like to make. He pitched the idea of a piece about the Free Nelson Mandela concert. This got him noticed and accepted onto the highly sought-after training programme.

The successful applicants were put into groups of eight to create a documentary. After finding out that multiple members of the group lived with hearing impairments, the focus was put on a documentary around that subject. Lewis commented: “I am deaf in my left ear so it was a subject I could really get behind.”

Lewis with his group
Lewis and his BFI documentary group were a great team

The group decided to look at Misophonia, also known as selective sound syndrome. It is a condition in which certain sounds or noises can trigger an emotional outburst for the listener with the condition.

The group got time to prepare and decide job roles before having an intense 3 days of filming. They interviewed various people including Dr Jane Gregory who is the leading Doctor researching the condition at Oxford University. Lewis found that meeting a particular highlight: “It was so fascinating hearing what Jane had to say!”

As well as getting a chance to use all the state-of-the-art filming equipment provided by BFI, Lewis also took on the role of Production Co-ordinator, which meant he was in charge of call sheets, risk assessments, locations and more: “It was something I found I was really good at and enjoyed. It’s great to find the name of the role that you want to do as a career and now I know for sure!” He also then took on the role of main sound editor for the piece.

Lewis enjoyed working on the project, especially interviewing Dr Jane Gregory. He also enjoyed both filming and production management

Digital Media lecturer at the College, Sarah Downing, was incredibly proud of Lewis’s achievement: “I’ve been really impressed with Lewis’ progress during his time on the Extended Diploma Creative Media course as he has shown dedication to his work and a commitment to beginning his journey in the film industry. Lewis’ participation in the prestigious BFI Film Academy Documentary Production course is a fantastic achievement that has boosted his confidence as a media practitioner. He should be incredibly proud of this success.”

The documentaries were shown at a screening in London for all the groups to see each other’s work on the big screen.

You can see the documentary below, as well as a second behind the scenes video.

Well done Lewis for your amazing work!

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