Wheelchair basketball documentary wins Royal Television Society student award

 1 January 2024 18 March 2024
18 March 2024

A University of Hertfordshire student documentary following a team of wheelchair basketball players has won best factual film at the Royal Television Society East Student Awards.

This Able Man follows the Coventry Wheelchair Basketball Academy, known as the Coventry Crusaders, in the runup to their match against their main rivals, the London Titans, and explores the impact of the sport in their everyday lives.

“We wanted to bring our audience closer to the disability community by showing their routines and hearing their opinions,” said Herts graduate Irene D’Aleo, who edited the film. “But we also wanted to inspire our audience to persevere against whatever struggles life throws their way. These players have gone through something that a lot of people won’t ever experience and yet they are still achieving success and fulfilment despite the hurdles in front of them.”

The RTS, a prestigious arts charity whose principal patrons include the BBC, ITV and Sky, hosted its annual student awards for the East of England this month. Irene and cinematographer Francesco Di Ilio were presented with the award for Best Factual Short-Form at the ceremony, hosted at St John’s College, Cambridge.

Judges at the ceremony said the film gave “insight into a different world with fascinating characters who told powerful stories” and that they “came away from this feeling richer.”

Daniel Bell, Programme Leader for BA Film and Television Production at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“We are immensely proud of all the nominated student films, it’s wonderful to see their work has been acknowledged by such a prestigious organisation as the RTS. A special congratulations should go to the Herts students that made This Able Man. It’s an amazing documentary and hopefully the team and film will both go on to win many more awards. I’d also like to thank all of the staff involved in Film and TV at the University of Hertfordshire for their hard work in supporting the students to consistently create interesting and innovative films.”

This Able Man was directed by Raphael Arp Rodrigues, edited by Irene D’Aleo (pictured) and produced by Minh Thuan Le. Francesco Di Ilio (pictured) was director of photography.

The film was additionally nominated for best editing. Two other student films from the University of Hertfordshire, To: Agnès, With Love and Forever Yours, were nominated for Best Drama.

Information about BA (Hons) Film and Television Production at the University of Hertfordshire is available via our website.


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