Video: Yorkshire movie scoops Best Short Film Oscar

From left, Benjamin Cleary, Serena Armitage, and Michael Paleodimos accept the award for best live action short film for Stutterer at the Oscars

From left, Benjamin Cleary, Serena Armitage, and Michael Paleodimos accept the award for best live action short film for Stutterer at the Oscars

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A film produced by a North Yorkshire filmmaker has won an Academy Award.

Stutterer was named best Live Action Short at the ceremony in Los Angeles last night.

The drama, which has already won a number of prestigious awards, has been created by Bear Golly Films, produced by Serena Armitage.

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Miss Armitage, who is a television producer for ITV, made the film with her friend and flatmate Ben Cleary.

She was born in Nun Monkton, between Harrogate and York, and grew up in Fadmoor, Kirkbymoorside, before later moving to the capital, where she has worked for ITV for ten years.

Her mother Elspeth Crookenden spoke to the Yorkshire Post from London’s Ham Yard Hotel, where she Miss Armitage’s sister Louise Sturdy attended a special screening of the Oscar ceremony overnight for friends and family of British nominees.

She said: “We are overwhelmed, we didn’t expect it at all, nor did Serena. We didn’t expect them to get nominated and the fact that they’ve gone the whole way is unbelievable.”

The film, a story about a man with a stutter’s journey to find love through internet dating, was written by Mr Cleary. Miss Armitage took time off from her full-time job as a producer for four days of filming last summer. It was made on a shoestring budget of just £5,000 and the pair even used their own flat as one of the locations to keep costs down.

Stutterer qualified for nomination at the Oscars after picking up more than a dozen awards at film festivals around the country, including at York.

Mrs Crookenden, who had yet to congratulate her daughter when she spoke to the YP, will be taking her daughter out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate after picking her up from the airport.

Then it will be back to reality with a bang for Miss Armitage, who is due back at work at ITV on Wednesday to begin a new project.

She added: “The atmosphere at the screening was amazing. We just couldn’t believe it - but she’s done it!”

The film’s director Mr Cleary said in his acceptance speech: “You know, when you make your first ever film, you’ve got to convince a lot of people to jump on board and take a risk with a first-time director, and, you know, to every single member of the cast and crew of Stutterer for jumping on board and taking that risk with me, I’m forever grateful.

“And to the Academy for this award. It’s such a huge honour. Thank you so much.”

Dubliner Cleary also paid tribute to the stars of the film, about a man with a crippling stutter and his online relationship with a woman.”

Miss Armitage said of the nomination last month: “We are absolutely astonished and overwhelmed by the success of Stutterer. The last six months have been absolutely extraordinary.”

She and other members of the crew were at the ceremony.

Their trip was sponsored by the Easingwold-based York Handmade Brick Company and donations from family members.

Mark Laksevics of York Handmade said: “We are absolutely delighted to sponsor such a wonderful Yorkshire success story.

“In our different ways, both York Handmade and Serena, Benjamin and Shan of Bear Golly Films, take great pride in the creative process.

“We both strive to create well-crafted products of the highest quality.

“Yorkshire has an illustrious history when it comes to film-making and Stutterer follows in this fine tradition.”

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