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York St John graduate celebrates role on crew of Oscar nominated film

A former York St John University student is celebrating her role on a film which has been nominated for an Oscar in the short film category.

Lili Jenkins, who studied BA Film & Television Production, worked as a casting assistant on Pentecost, a low budget film set in Ireland in the 1970s. Written and directed by Peter McDonald, the film focuses on a young boy and his passion for football.

Lili, 24 from London, graduated from York St John University in 2009 and currently works for Independent Talent Group, Europe’s largest talent agency. Following an internship with Candid Casting and work experience at Hubbard Casting, Lili’s lucky break came when she was offered a job as assistant to Amy Hubbard, one of the UK’s leading casting directors. During this time Lili worked as casting assistant on a number of films, including Pentecost.

Describing how her career has been shaped by her degree Lili said:

“During my degree we were encouraged to try our hand at various different roles. This enabled us to hone our skills and also work towards an area we wanted to specialise in. Whilst writing and directing my short film in the final year of my degree at York St John, I experienced intense pressure. However, this not only taught me the importance of good organisational skills, but also to thrive on stress rather than succumb to it!”

She added:

“We had three weeks to find the entire cast of Pentecost. As a large number of them were school boys I organised mass auditions in Dublin from our office in London which was difficult but very worthwhile, as the selection of talent we found was fantastic. I am ecstatic that our low budget Irish film has been picked out from thousands for an Oscar.”

Fiona Thompson, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts at York St John University, said:

“We are delighted with Lili’s career success and it reinforces the important role that the university sector has in supporting entry into this highly competitive industry. Lili is a great ambassador for our own course and we will be watching the Oscars with fingers crossed wishing Lili and the production team and crew every success on the night.”

Pentecost is nominated alongside four other short films. Lili and the film crew will find out whether the film is selected as winner when the 84th Academy Awards are announced on Sunday 26 February.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk