Documentary on Senghenydd mining disaster wins RTS award
A documentary filmmaker from the Aber Valley has won a prestigious Royal Society for Television award for his film about the 1913 Senghenydd mining disaster.
Andrew Gough, 22, won the undergraduate entertainment category in the RTS Student Television Awards for his film ‘The Mourning of the Valley’ which he produced for his final year project while studying film and documentary making at Newport University.
Four-hundred-and-thirty-nine miners died in the disaster at the Universal Colliery – the worst in British history – but one man, through a twist of fate, avoided being killed.
John Walters, the great grandfather of filmmaker Andrew Gough, 22, is the central character of the 15 minute documentary.
Andrew said: “The film is set around my great grandfather who worked at the colliery who, quite fortunately for me, didn’t go to work that day because his daughter had kept him up the night before.
“My mother always told the story as I was growing up and being from Senghenydd you know about the disaster. My mother always used to tell me that I wouldn’t be here without that twist of fate. As a kid I didn’t realise it, but as I’ve gotten older it’s pretty extraordinary.”
The film was produced with fellow Newport University students Paris Palmer, John Shand, James Earing and Ian Morley and was put forward in the competition by the group’s university tutor Professor Christopher Morris.
RTS judges said the film “displayed exceptional production values delivered to broadcast standards” and that it was “technically confident and incorporated a clear and moving narrative.”
Andrew, who graduated in August last year and now works for a video production company in Cardiff, said: “We’re honoured to have won the award. It’s a pretty prestigious award and we never expected it.
“It’s good for your confidence when you get recognised. It makes you feel good about your abilities.”
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