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News Report Page 7 of 11
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Hugh Baird College Students' film nominated for 3 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 'Blackbird' at:- 'Best International Short' at the Buenos Aires film festival and have also been nominated for both:- 'Best Short' at the Pinewood 'Lift off' sessions and Flickfair's:- '2020 Dark Comedy Short Film.'

In 2017 the young men met at a film making workshop at the Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby, when they worked on 2 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 2 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."

For more information on A-level courses at Hugh Baird College, and how to apply, please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or alternatively, please call:- 0151 353 4444.

Smokers - Ditch the habit over "Love your lungs week 2020"

THE Trust's stop smoking service, Quit Squad, is marking the week, which runs from 22 June to 28 June 2020 by inviting people to ditch the cigarettes with their support. The service, which offers free advice to anyone over the age of 12, warns smokers have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infections, which is of particular concern during the Coronavirus pandemic. Smokers are 3 times more likely to stop with the help of the Quit Squad, which includes:- a 12 week course of advice sessions with experts and a pack of support materials. The team, which has helped more than 4,500 people stop smoking since April 2018, says those who manage to go for 28 days without a cigarette are far more likely to be able to stop for good. The health benefits are immediate, with the body continuing to repair itself the longer a person stays smoke free. After 8 hours, carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than ½ and oxygen levels return to normal. Carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body and lungs start to clear out mucus after 48 hours, while breathing starts to become easier after 72 hours. People who quit generally find physical activity becomes easier between 2 weeks and 3 months of giving up tobacco as their lung function and blood circulation starts to improve, and any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems start to ease off between 3 and 9 months after their last cigarette. Love Your Lungs Week, organised by the British Lung Foundation, urges people to take action to look after their lung health by finding the right support and online tools for them. Tracy Sutton, Team Manager, from the Lancashire Quit Squad, said it was important now, more than ever, to take control of our health.

Tracy said:- "Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke enter our blood stream and can affect the entire body, which is why smoking causes so many diseases, including:- 16 types of cancer, heart disease, strokes and lung disease. With the UK in the grip of a pandemic, it has never been more vital to take care of our lungs to reduce the damage and take the best possible steps to lower the risks of contracting COVID-19, which affects the lungs and airways. For every person who dies from smoking, another 30 are suffering from a serious smoking related illness, so it really is essential that we encourage more people to kick the habit with our help. Quitting at any age can lengthen your life and improve your quality of life, so it's never too late to stop smoking and we would urge all smokers to take that 1st step today."

The Quit Squad warns that more than 80% of 2nd hand smoke is invisible and odourless, meaning your family could still breathe in harmful poisons, putting them at risk of meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. Children who live with smokers are also twice as likely to become smokers themselves.

To refer yourself to Quit Squad, phone your local team on Freephone:- 0800 328 6297, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Outside of these times please leave a message and contact number for a call back. Visit:- QuitSquad.NHS.UK for more information.

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