Victoria Mapplebeck, an academic at Royal Holloway has won a BAFTA in the Short Form Programme category for her short film Missed Call about her young son’s journey to reconnect with his absent father.
Victoria Mapplebeck and Jim with their BAFTA
It is one of the first professional documentaries in the world to be filmed on the iPhone X.
Victoria and her production team received their award at the BAFTA Television Awards on 12 May at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Victoria, a Reader in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, said: “I'm over the moon with our BAFTA Award. It means so much to me.
“I couldn't have done any of this without my son Jim, the subject of the film, who has been an absolute star and a genuine collaborator.
“Missed Call was a tough film to make, but I was lucky enough to have the support of a small and perfectly formed team of commissioners and producers from Little Dot Studios and Field Day Productions.
“Squaring the circle of being both parent and filmmaker gave us many challenges and I was really grateful to work with Amanda Murphy from Royal Holloway’s media arts team, an amazing executive producer who helped me to deliver a film we were all proud to have made.
“I am so thrilled.”
Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, added: “Congratulations to Victoria and her team, this really is a tremendous achievement.
“Our Department of Media Arts is led by award-winning world-class experts and is committed to achieving the highest standards in both the study and practice of screen media.
“This wonderful BAFTA Award just shows the professionalism and creativity we have at Royal Holloway.”
Missed Call begins with the last message Victoria receives from her son Jim’s father, before he moved abroad in 2006. The film ends with the first phone call to Jim from his father in 11 years later when the young boy reaches out via his mother.
Jim, who is now 15, last saw his father when he was aged two. He had reached the point where he needed to know more about where he came from and work out once and for all if he is to have any kind of relationship with his father.
The film was shot on a mobile because its story derives from a text exchange on a phone – one that captures the whole of the relationship, from the first encounter to the parting message, which brought about Jim’s very existence.
Missed Call is also one of the first original productions from the fast-growing documentary channel, Real Stories. It was directed by Victoria Mapplebeck and produced by Amanda Murphy at Field Day Productions for Little Dot Studios.
Amanda Murphy from the StoryFutures Academy at Royal Holloway, added: “We‘re so excited to have won a BAFTA for Missed Call.
“I’ve worked on big budget productions with huge teams for most of my career, but this win says so much about the power of small creative teams and smartphone filming; something Victoria has championed so well.
“It’s also great testament to the power of collaboration between the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway University and Field Day Productions for Little Dot Studios.
“Working with Victoria, and her brilliant son Jim, on a film that was such a personal journey for them both, was an honour, as I know it took great strength to share what is a really important and universal story.”