ASPIRING film director Rowland Daniel has become the first ever King’s Ely student to be awarded the prestigious Gold Arts Award, a Level 3 qualification in creative arts leadership.

While also studying A Levels in Classical Civilisation, Film Studies and Theatre Studies, not to mention the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Rowland spent nine months working towards the Gold Arts Award, recording his progress along the way in a video diary and supporting portfolio.

The qualification is designed to help students extend their skills and gain experience of working in the arts sector.

As part of the project, Rowland attended a residential film-making course held during school holidays called ACT 2 CAM, where he got to fulfil his ambition to direct a film for the big screen. Leading a group of seven – three crew and four actors, he directed a ten-minute film entitled Bloodgames, where he also played a cameo role. The film was screened at the Newcastle Tyneside Cinema and was shown to fellow King’s Ely pupils, who gave positive reviews.

Rowland also got the opportunity to go behind the scenes in the projection room at Ely’s Maltings Cinema, helped to design posters and advertisements at the Babylon Gallery, and carried out an investigation into the pros and cons of online film distribution.

Rowland, whose favourite directors include Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and David Fincher, said: “I decided to study the Gold Arts Award due to my enthusiasm for the extra-curricular and as an opportunity to explore the arts in relation to film-making.

“I really enjoyed the project, especially the ACT 2 CAM film-making course – I would certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in film and drama. The biggest challenge was finding time to complete the course at the same time as A Levels, but I’m pleased I made the extra commitment.”

Rowland’s mentor throughout the project, Nathan Jones, Arts Development Manager at Arts Development in East Cambs (ADeC) said: “This is a great achievement – not many people achieve the Gold Award and Rowland showed great enthusiasm and dedication over a long period of time. I am so pleased for Rowland and it is just reward for all of his hard work.”

After taking a gap year, Rowland hopes to pursue joint honours in Film and Drama at university. He will also receive the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in the next few days.

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