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Bristol grads bag two BAFTAs

19 March 2007

Asitha Ameresekere (BA 1993) won 'Best Short Film' and Jeremy Brock (BA 1981) scooped ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ at this year's BAFTA awards.

Asitha Ameresekere (BA 1993) has won a BAFTA award for his short film Do Not Erase. Written in two days and shot in three, the film had won critical acclaim in many countries and been shown at nine film festivals across the globe before scooping Best Short Film at the UK’s most prestigious ceremony, widely regarded as the forerunner to the Oscars.

Asitha wrote, produced and directed Do Not Erase with ‘next to no money’. He conceived the highly acclaimed piece in March 2003, when coalition forces first entered Iraq. ‘In one London newspaper over a period of several weeks at that time, photos of soldiers on the ground were placed next to a small column asking for the public’s help in locating missing people in the UK. It started me thinking about what went through the minds of families of soldiers stationed thousands of miles away from home, especially when they went missing in action,’ Asitha explains. ‘The first image I had of the film in my head was of a mother staring at a camera lens, with so much to say but unable to say a word. This turned into the final scene of the film.’

Asitha, who says his study of Classics led to his love of storytelling, is working on a number of screenplays and planning to shoot another film with the Do Not Erase team shortly. His first collection of short stories is due to be published this year.

Another Bristol graduate to prosper at this year’s BAFTA awards was Jeremy Brock (BA 1981) who scooped the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ award for The Last King of Scotland. English and Drama graduate Jeremy worked with Peter Morgan to adapt Giles Foden’s debut novel of the same name into the smash hit Academy Award-winning film.