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Stirling student film wins Royal Television Society award

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An emotive documentary about blind and visually impaired golfers created by University of Stirling students has won a Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Award.

A Bunch of Gentlemen, made by Louise Begbie, Milla Harju, Fatima Helou, Claudia Lorenz, Nadin Mai and Amanda Jayne Naughton, won Best Factual Programme during a ceremony held at BBC Scotland’s headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.

The film features a selection of interviews with members of the Scottish Blind Golf Society. During the programme the men discuss their love of the game, their experiences of losing their sight and how they adapted their lives to carry on enjoying the sport for which they hold such a passion.

The judges’ comments concluded: "A Bunch of Gentlemen is intelligent, absorbing and opened beautifully with the revelation that the golfers couldn't see. The individual stories were well told and the programme's length was almost perfect.

"The judges unanimously enjoyed the piece and its incredibly warm and human stories in which they became personally involved. Overall a very well thought out and realised piece."

Amanda Jayne Naughton said: "We are really excited about winning this prestigious award and we are proud and pleased that people have enjoyed watching our film. 

"We had an amazing opportunity to work with talented and inspirational characters and it is their stories that make the film a success. As the golfers are the undoubted stars of the documentary, we have decided to donate the award to the Scottish Blind Golf Society.

"We appreciate all of the help and support that we have had from the Film and Media department at the University of Stirling in assisting us to construct a film worthy of an RTS award."

Stirling Lecturer Tim Thornicroft attended the ceremony with his former students and was delighted with the win, as the film was up against some tough competition from other colleges and universities.

He added: "It was gratifying to hear very warm and genuine regard shown for the work produced by the University of Stirling from a range of broadcasters and fellow educators."

Scottish Blind Golf Society Secretary, Robin Clayden, who also features in the film, said the Society was proud of the way the students had portrayed the players.

He added: "The students had a natural ability to understand visually impaired golfers and took on board what we said about our lives, the game and the etiquette on the course."

The RTS also commended another Stirling film which impressed the judges but failed to make the final shortlist for Best Fictional Programme.

Wake Up, by Patrik Buchar, John Creighton, Miraslaw Czubaszek, Ian Hendry, Mateusz Pastewka, Phil Robinson and Angus Turner received a special note of merit.

The students involved in the programmes graduated in November 2011.

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