Film society funds Miles

PUBLISHED: 16:25 12 November 2013

Miles in the Budleigh Public Hall, with members of the Budleigh Film Society , Margaret and Stuart Yerrell and Stephen Copp and Fiona Hennah.

Miles in the Budleigh Public Hall, with members of the Budleigh Film Society , Margaret and Stuart Yerrell and Stephen Copp and Fiona Hennah.

Archant

A movie club has helped the son of a Topsham carpenter, who has been accepted into the world’s top film school, to realise his dream by awarding him their first-ever scholarship.

Miles Ridgway, 22, who worked on the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, has been accepted on the MA Cinematography course this December at the National Film and Television School – regarded as one of the best film schools in the world.

But the Buckinghamshire-based school is also one of the most expensive, with fees of at least £12,000.

And because MA students are ineligible for grants or student loans, Miles feared he would not be able to pay his way.

Now the Budleigh Film Society has pledged the scholarship – and, combined with his savings and a scholarship from the National Film and TV Society, Miles now almost has enough cover the tuition fees.

Film society member Stuart Yerrell said: “Budleigh Film Society, which started out with loans of £15,500, is now in its sixth season and has a modest surplus.

“We decided that it would like to use the money to set up a scholarship to help aspiring young talent.”

He said they were about to write to the school to ask for a candidate when a Journal article highlighted Miles’s plight.

He added: “We felt that we should be ploughing something back into the British film industry for the future and Miles has a lot of talent.”

Despite being the youngest to apply, Miles was selected as one of only three British students out of just eight, which included candidates from Columbia, Norway, Romania, Poland and South Africa.

Miles said: “When I was young I thought of becoming a policeman. And when I was older I thought of becoming a carpenter like my father.

“It was only after a course in film production at Exeter College I realised where my interests lay.”

But Miles still has to raise enough for all the maintenance costs and Stuart added: “Are there any white knights out there that could come to the rescue?”


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