Press Office

RTS Awards 24

Student success at film awards

Published on: 29 February 2024

The Milky Way won the Regional Student Award: Factual Short at the RTS North East and Borders Awards.

A true gem

The Milky Way won the Regional Student Award: Factual Short at the RTS North East and Borders Awards.

The 11-minute short documentary tells the life cycle of a glass milk bottle in three chapters: farm, bottling plant and the milkman who delivers it.

The Milky Way was made by Claire McCune, Ra’na Naini, Tilda Billsberry-Grass and Emily Crane, as part of their dissertation for the final year of their BA Film Practices degree. They graduated last summer and are now all working in the creative industries.

Producer Claire said: “Winning the award was such a surprise and we only found out about the nomination a week before the ceremony, so it was a whirlwind, and we really didn’t expect it.

“Another team from Newcastle University was also shortlisted, and their film was so good, we really thought they would win.

“The Milky Way is an experimental documentary that celebrates the nostalgia and whimsicality of glass bottle milk production and delivery.

“We really enjoyed making it, and we wanted to try different techniques with form and audio to make something playful, we felt the subject really lent itself to that.

“We also would like to say a big thank you to Michael Geddes, the milkman who featured in and narrated the documentary. He is a true gem.”

Claire McCune and Ra'na Naini at the awards ceremony

Well-deserved recognition

The win marks the fourth consecutive year that Newcastle University students have won the award.

Carol Lynn, Deputy Degree Programme Director - Film Practice, said: “Congratulations to the creative team behind the fantastically quirky documentary The Milky Way, on their well-deserved recognition from the Royal Television Society in this year’s regional awards.

“It is testament to the quality of the documentaries that are coming out of Film at Culture Lab that this is the fourth year in a row where we have won in the student factual category.”

Another Newcastle University film, 54 Years in Byker, was also shortlisted.

The Milky Way will compete in the national RTS Student Awards in London later this year.

The RTS Student Awards North East and Borders were held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.



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