Bafta recognises film heroes in national competition

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

A woman who produces a festival of films made for people with learning disabilities is one of the winners of Bafta’s For The Love Of Film competition.

Lizzie Banks, of Brighton, was recognised for producing the Oska Bright Film Festival.

The event is the world’s biggest festival of short films made by and for people with learning disabilities, autism and Asperger’s.

Lizzie Banks (Bafta)

Janet Dunn and Martin Fol, of Liverpool, were also named as winners of Bafta and EE’s second annual For The Love Of Film contest, which highlights local champions bringing the joy of film to UK communities.

The pair fund and operate Liverpool’s Plaza Cinema, which is run predominantly by volunteers. The community cinema offers film-based educational programmes to schools, the volunteer sector and the general public.

When it was threatened with closure in 1995, Dunn secured a 10,000-signature petition to save it.

Janet Dunn and Martin Fol (Bafta)

The winners were selected by a panel that included director Amma Asante, broadcaster Edith Bowman, writer/director Paul Greengrass, filmmaker and content creator Jack Howard and Andrew Orr of Bafta’s Film Committee. 

Orr said: “Film has the magical ability to bring us together but without people like Janet, Martin and Lizzie to champion opportunity at a local level many might miss out on the enjoyment that it brings.”