And the winner is …

The premier screening of Viola Films’ For the Fallen project took place in July at the Royal Engineers Museum, followed by the Golden Poppy Awards ceremony at Blue Town Heritage Centre.

These were a quite remarkable set of films, depicting the human suffering on both sides of the Great War. The use of fact in fiction once again proved to be a powerful tool in the telling of these human stories, all of them beautifully shot and extremely touching. There were set components appearing in each film, connecting them via a phrase or an item but these were never obvious, such was the range of original ideas and settings, including the quirkily animated yet still deeply moving Lost Within.

The public were tasked with choosing their favourite film, and deciding a top three was extremely difficult. From the juxtaposition of cuddly toys in war of Sincerely Soldier Bear to the short film of epic proportions that was Bang Snap; from the raw and powerful 2018 with modern spoken word war poetry to the ghostly nature and poignancy of Sleep Now – ultimately, the public’s number one – I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose tears flowed freely from beginning to end of the entire screening.

Sleep Now
Sleep Now still: Pete Lewtas


Creative Enabler, Steph Fuller, who presented the award for Best Sound, said: “It was great to be at the event and to meet in person some of the talented film makers, actors, cinematographers etc, who had been involved.  The work was really moving, and seeing all the films together really made a strong impact.  Blue Town Heritage Centre was such a great venue, and featured in one of the films too, which was an added bonus!”

The full results:

Best Film – Shades of Time

Sponsored by The Rotary club Minster on Sea

The People’s Choice Award – Sleep Now

Sponsored by Action Plus Media

Best Sound – Sleep Now

Sponsored by Medway Council

Best Director – Into the War 1914-1945

Sponsored by Kent film Office

Best Screenplay – Every One of Them

Sponsored by Violafilms

Best Cinematography – Sincerely, Soldier Bear

Sponsored by Apache Rental

Best Actor – Jake Wheeldon(2018)

Sponsored by the Royal Engineers Museum

Best Actress – Ashley McKinney Taylor (Treffen)

Sponsored by the Royal Engineers Museum

The Heritage Award – Laurie

Sponsored by the Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Best Make-Up – Bang Snap

Sponsored by Kate Griffiths, Special Effects Make-Up Artist

Best Costume – The White Feather 

Sponsored by Blue Town Heritage Centre

To read more about the For the Fallen project, visit their website here.