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Anti-smoking film wins award

PUBLISHED: 20:10 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:25 06 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT school carried off a prestigious accolade for its film designed to stop young people smoking.

Pupils at Old Warren House were among more than 90 students from Suffolk and Waveney who walked up the red carpet at a glitzy awards evening at Ipswich Cineworld last week after picking up prizes in the Suffolk Stop Smoking Oscars.

A LOWESTOFT school carried off a prestigious accolade for its film designed to stop young people smoking.

Pupils at Old Warren House were among more than 90 students from Suffolk and Waveney who walked up the red carpet at a glitzy awards evening at Ipswich Cineworld last week after picking up prizes in the Suffolk Stop Smoking Oscars.

Suffolk Smoke Free Alliance teamed up with Healthy Ambitions Suffolk this year to launch the project, designed to spread the stop smoking message and give the county's year 9 and 10 pupils the chance to make their own short films about tobacco.

Students who entered the competition were given free rein to cover anything from tobacco addiction and its impact on people's health to the more emotional aspects of smoking such as using cigarettes to look 'cool' among their peers.

Nineteen films were submitted in 10 categories including best director, best actor/actress, and best overall film.

The outstanding achievement award was won by Old Warren House, a pupil referral unit at Warren Road in Lowestoft, after its students impressed judges with their Wallace and Gromit style animations about peer pressure.

Headteacher Elizabeth Rodgers said the award was a major boost for the students, and the school.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the outstanding achievement award. It will be such a boost for the students' self-esteem. They all set themselves very high standards in making the animation and thoroughly enjoyed working on the whole project. It proves that a small school like Old Warren House can offer challenge to much larger establishments in some areas of curriculum.”

The coveted prize of £1000 for the best overall film, You Can't Turn Back Time, went to Thurston Community College in Bury St Edmunds. The award for best screenplay went to St Albans School in Ipswich with the film The Smoke House.

Daniel Chapelle, health improvement manager for tobacco control at NHS Suffolk, said: “Even though this is a pilot project the standard of entries was extremely high and the judges were impressed. We know that one in seven 15 year olds smoke regularly and one of the main reasons for putting on this event is to increase young people's awareness of the risks of smoking.

“We really want to make the Suffolk Oscars an annual event and encourage every school in Suffolk to take part next year.”

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