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News article

Film student wins screenwriting award with her first script

Published: 11 March 2024

  •   Students
Elle Phillips beside film camera

York St John University student Elle Phillips has won an international screenwriting award – with her very first script! 

Elle, who is currently in the second year of her Film and Television Production BA Hons course, won Best Short Script in the New York Tri-State International Film Festival, held online in January.  

Her script, ‘Season of the Witch’, is a nostalgic trip down memory lane to childhood trick or treating, but with sinister consequences. 

Reacting to the win, Elle said: “When I heard I’d won, I actually emailed the festival to ask if it was real! I couldn't believe it!” 

This was the first script I’d ever written, and with New York being one of the main places where I’d love to eventually work in the industry, it really was amazing to get an award from a festival based out there.”  

Kevin Gash, lecturer with the School of Arts, said: “Every student in our Film and Television Production course does screenwriting. However, most students will write a script for the assessment and then just leave it.   

“The fact that Elle has put her script out there, and it’s reaping the awards, is great. She now has an award-winning script which will help to set her up in this world.”  

As well as a certificate marking her success, Elle has also received a laurel from the festival to place on the script, acknowledging it as an award winner.  

The New York Tri-State International Film Festival, launched in 2019, aims to be a platform for emerging filmmakers from all around the world to present their work and to be recognised for their talent. 

With a reputation for film and television production stretching back more than fifty years, York St John University plays a central role in developing film and media talent in York and beyond. 

Students are provided with opportunities to work closely with industry partners to develop future careers in original film and television production, news, documentary and screenwriting. 

York offers a fantastic setting for students studying media, film and production courses at York St John University with its thriving visual arts scene, including the acclaimed Aesthetica Film Festival and status as a UNESCO City of Media Arts. 

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