THE RED planet has led to red carpet for a teenage film-maker.
Thomas Varnish’s computer animated film Curiosity has been shortlisted in the Best Animation (13 and over) category at the 2017 Into Film Awards
The 17 year-old’s film depicts the lonely adventures of NASA’s Curiosity rover, a car-sized robot which has been exploring Gale Crater on Mars since landing in 2012, as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission.
The Warwick School student will attend a star-studded gala at London’s Odeon Leicester Square cinema next week, hosted by TV and radio presenter Edith Bowman.
Thomas, who developed an interest in computer graphics when he took Disney’s ‘Pixar in a Box’ course, said he was delighted and honoured to be nominated – particularly as this was the first animation he had produced.
He added: “I’m a physicist at heart, so discovering how much maths and science goes into creating films amazed me.
“My film, Curiosity, was developed with 3D animation software Blender, and learning to use the software while developing the film was a hugely rewarding experience for me.”
Now in its third year, the awards are hosted by film and education organisation Into Film, which is supported by the BFI through National Lottery funding and counts Eddie Redmayne and Naomie Harris among its ambassadors.
The awards pay tribute to young people aged up to 19 who have shown exceptional achievements in film-making or film reviewing, and to teachers who have demonstrated inspirational use of film in the classroom.
Into Film CEO Paul Reeve said: “Children and young people have wonderful and important stories to tell in film, which reflect the way they see the world and enable the audience to look through their eyes.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide a platform to showcase and celebrate their work, and alongside this to recognise the skill, passion and commitment of teachers and film clubs that are enriching their young people’s learning and lives by engaging them with film.”
The awards will be judged by a panel of major industry figures including Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Sara Bennett (Ex Machina), actor Stephen Mangan (Rush, Green Wing, Episodes), and Game of Thrones actor Ed Skrein.
The ceremony is on Tuesday (March 14).
Search ‘Curiosity Varnish’ on Youtube to see Thomas’ film.