Four students from the University of Wolverhampton have been shortlisted in a national film competition, which aims to raise awareness of carbon monoxide (CO).
Leading CO awareness campaign Project SHOUT launched the competition in January 2016, challenging film students across the UK to create an informative, short film that will educate on the dangers of CO poisoning and how families can protect themselves with a simple and affordable CO alarm.
Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide takes the lives of around fifty people in the UK every year, when it leaks from boilers, cookers, fires and other appliances that burn fuels such as gas and coal.
The competition received entries from William Horsefield, as an individual and Shannon Clarke, Ethan Brotherton and Sophie Mitchell who formed a group. The participants beat off stiff competition and are two of six national finalists who could win £2,500, and have their film premiered at an exclusive private screening in London in September, when the winner will be announced. All shortlisted films are now on the Project SHOUT website for the general public to vote for their favourite entry.
William Horsefield, Film Student from the University of Wolverhampton said: “I found out about the competition on Facebook and was keen to take part as I wanted to help people be aware of the dangers. I had heard about carbon monoxide before but hadn’t realised how dangerous it could be. I chose animation as I wanted the video to appeal to the target audience of families whilst also not being too frightening for children to watch.”
Shannon Clarke, Film Student from the University of Wolverhampton said: “None of us had ever heard of carbon monoxide poisoning before so when we saw the brief and had the opportunity to take part, we knew we wanted to make our film as impactful as we could to ensure the message stuck in peoples minds.
“I have had a passion for videography from a young age after watching a range of films in my childhood. Ever since I’ve enjoyed being behind the camera and hope to be directing one day.”
Tracy McCoy, Head of Department of Film, Media & Broadcasting at the University of Wolverhampton said: “Video and Film Production students from the School of Media were really energised by the Project SHOUT brief this year and so it is pleasing to see that two of the films made the final shortlist.
“Social Action and Public Information films are a significant focus of the production course and so it has been pleasing to work closely with the Project SHOUT team in bringing awareness of this hidden danger both to students engaged in our course and audiences that their short films might reach.”
Project SHOUT Campaign Director, Rob Lyon, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the high calibre of entries and it’s fantastic to see so many students across the country joining in and playing a part in helping to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide. William Horsefield from the University of Wolverhampton was shortlisted for his innovative use of animation and captivating story line. Whilst the group that Shannon Clarke led, was shortlisted for their creative execution and memorable concept.
“Raising awareness of the deadly gas is crucial, especially amongst families and young adults, as children can be more vulnerable to the effects of CO and students who are often living away from home for the first time can be unaware of the risks. As you can’t see, smell or taste CO, it’s very hard to identify and it’s also often mistaken for other things such as food poisoning or flu, as the symptoms are very similar, making it so important that as many people as possible know about the dangers.”
Supporting the campaign are two inspirational mums whose lives have both been affected by carbon monoxide, Stacey Rodgers and Louise Aspinall. Huddersfield mum Stacey sadly lost her son Dominic to carbon monoxide poisoning when their neighbour’s faulty boiler leaked CO through to Dominic’s bedroom as he slept. Hampshire mum Louise and her family had a lucky escape, when a carbon monoxide leak in their home was detected by a CO alarm, which could have lead to serious injury or even a fatality, if they hadn’t been alerted to the danger.
To find out more about Project SHOUT and vote for your favourite film, visit www.projectshout.com. Voting closes midnight 31st July 2016.
Issued on behalf of Project SHOUT by HROC PR
For more information, contact Gemma Bryan or Rosie Daly
T: 0121 454 9707