Ipswich student wins national competition with first try at animation

Dominic Stuart, 17, shows off his animation design

Dominic Stuart won a competition with his animation about Suffolk New College - Credit: Hannah Page

Winning a short film competition inspired an Ipswich media student to broaden his skillset - and he's putting plans in place for his own media business. 

Dominic Stuart entered a national competition that asked for short 30-second films that championed the positive impact that colleges have on students in the UK. 

As a student at Suffolk New College, Dominic wanted to showcase the work done by staff and tutors to help him with his studies and did so through animation. 

His first try of the art form secured him the top prize. 

The 17-year-old from Rushmere said: "I wanted to enter the contest to promote the college in a positive way and thought that animation would be an interesting and fun way of showing it. 

"But funnily enough this was actually the first thing I'd ever animated; my specialism is usually photography. 

"I gathered evidence, wrote a script and submitted it, which all took about two days -- and then found out I'd won through Twitter." 

The competition was run by the Association of Colleges (AoC) in support of the Love Our Colleges campaign and in praise of Dominic's winning entry, the AoC noted his "creativity and passion". 

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And, after being announced as the winner at the end of October, Dominic has recently been able to get hold of his prize: a paid commission from the AoC. 

That work is "going well", the teenager said, adding: "I'm just waiting for feedback on my script so I can move to the next stage but it's going alright. 

"It's definitely made me think about trying different media types when I finish my course in June. 

"I'm in the process of setting up a little business - I don't know what to call it yet, but I'd like to bring in animation, photography, maybe some video editing. 

"I'm excited to see where this will take me." 

Speaking after his win, head of marketing at Suffolk New College Craig Shimmon said: "The fact that one of our students won a national competition like this is amazing in itself. That he decided to use this opportunity to say so many lovely things about us is incredibly heart-warming. We are very proud."