BU graduate Ben Cookson’s film Almost Married has been nominated for a National Film Award (NFA). Ben, who studied BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television, wrote and directed the comedy drama.
The NFA is an annual event aimed at celebrating established and independent film in the UK and overseas. Each nominee - whether it be a film, actress, actor, director or writer - is chosen by the public and then it’s up to the public to vote for their favourite in each category.
Almost Married is up against well-known names such as The Inbetweeners 2, Cuban Fury and Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie in the Best Comedy category. The film – which stars Emily Atack and Philip McGinley – follows a groom-to-be who returns from his stag do with a sexually transmitted disease.
The National Film Award isn’t Almost Married’s first nomination - the film won Best Feature Film Award at the Marbella Film Festival 2014. However, the NFA nomination came as a complete surprise to Ben and the film’s cast and crew.
Ben said, “The good thing which is really pleasing to hear was that the nominations are decided by the public voting for the nomination. I didn’t know about it and none of the cast and crew knew about it, so it wasn’t friends and family nominating Almost Married as Best Comedy, it’s people who have obviously seen it and liked it, which is great.”
“To get a nomination is a win in itself. The entire budget for Almost Married is probably wouldn’t cover the advertising spend on The Inbetweeners 2.”
The entire film was shot in only 18 days but the whole project took almost four years from beginning to end. Ben hopes the nomination will mean more people get to see the film and that it will raise the profiles of those involved. He said he doesn’t set out to make films with the intention of winning awards but they certainly help when it comes to standing out from the crowd and getting funding for future projects.
Ben is now working on two new projects, one of which is a romantic drama about a heavy metal drummer based on a true story. Recently he’s been back to BU to give advice and encouragement to current undergraduate students on making the most of their time at university and breaking into the film industry. His advice - to go to every lecture,
“You have got to work hard and not waste your time here. Three years is nothing and it’s so important to make the most of it.”
The winners of the National Film Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 31 March 2015. Voting closes on 12 March 2015 so there’s still time to vote for your favourites.