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A-level students’ film nominated for three awards


Hugh Baird College’s A-level Film Studies student, Conor O’Neil, alongside brothers Matthew and John Reynolds, have recently been announced as finalists for ‘Best International Short’ at the Buenos Aires film festival and have been nominated for ‘Best Short’ at the Pinewood ‘Lift-off’ sessions and 'Flickfair' for their 2020 dark comedy short film, Blackbird.

In 2017 the young men met at a film making workshop at the Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby, when they worked on two educational projects with the Plaza, before moving on to their own work in 2018. Since then Conor, Matthew and John have jointly produced a variety of films including; the sci-fi zero budget feature Illegal Being (2018), the improvised short The Music Man (2019), Shopping Bag 2: Back in Business (2019) and in a departure from their usual style, a family Christmas short Noel (2019).

Since then, they have been working on a recent dark comedy short film, Blackbird, set in 1980's Liverpool when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, featuring a nihilistic loner Mary-Kate, who turns to petty crime for revenge at the loss of her long-term boyfriend.

The film also features two other Hugh Baird students Josh Bland and Scott Garner as background extras during the film's most ambitious scene.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Conor, Mathew and John decided to release the film directly to their YouTube channel. Since release, on the 20th March 2020 the film has gone from strength to strength resulting in the successful nominations.

Conor O’Neil, Hugh Baird College A-level student, said:

I have always loved making films, myself, Matthew and John are all so proud of the positive response to Blackbird and definitely plan to move forward with other projects once the lockdown is lifted and it is safe to film. By studying Film Studies as well as Media Studies at the College, it has helped me to further develop my understanding of various films, audience types and techniques.

Matthew ORegan, Hugh Baird College Film Studies Tutor, said:

Conor is an outstanding student, the fantastic talent he brings to the College has since been developed and honed through his study of theoretical approaches, existing cinema and the work of other students. We are thrilled Conor is studying with us and I look forward to his future projects.

Watch the film



For more information on A-level courses at Hugh Baird College, and how to apply, please visit: www.hughbaird.ac.uk/a-levels or alternatively, please call 0151 353 4444.

The image features (left to right): John Reynolds, Conor O’Neil and Matthew Reynolds.

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