The Cut Films annual stop smoking film competition awards took place last week at BAFTA headquarters in London. The project is the youth arm of the Royal Castle Lung Foundation and involves hundreds of young people from across the UK involved in making short films to encourage their peers not to smoke.
The competition is also part of an Erasmus+ project titled EU Smokefree Youth Exchange that includes three partner organisations: Cut Films (UK), No Excuse (Slovenia) and Smart Youth (Sweden).
The exchange involves filmmaking, tobacco awareness, demonstrations at the British American Tobacco Annual General meeting, social media for campaigning, presentations to young people, Members of Parliament, Health Professionals and Journalists.
UK participants will go to Slovenia in July to meet with their Swedish and Slovenian counterparts for a week focusing on: tobacco marketing, de-glamorisation of tobacco, mystery shopping experience, public interaction, campaign development.
Dr Jo Cranwell, from UKCTAS Nottingham, who was one of this year’s judges and who attended the awards said:
“I am extremely inspired by the creativity, impact and quality of this year’s film submissions. The level of research conducted was also impressive. Over 200,000 young people in this country start smoking each year and 50% of these will go on to be established smokers, so projects like this are essential in communicating the risk associated with smoking to youngsters. I loved the energy at the awards and the impact the films had on the big screen. I came away feeling very inspired and very honoured to be involved in this worthwhile project.”
The British Thoracic Society (BTS) supported a number of film workshops around the UK again this year, with over 80 films submitted. The winning BTS film was ‘Ingredients of Death’, from Thistley Hough Academy in Stoke-on-Trent.
John Hutchinson, from the BTS Tobacco Specialist Advisory Group, said:
“We were all really impressed with the quality of the films, which had some really imaginative ideas and powerful messages about the dangers of smoking. The BAFTA ceremony was a great opportunity to reward the winners and show them the importance of their work – that their film might help to prevent someone starting smoking in future. Well done to everyone who took part.”