David Cameron and other party leaders are about to get an influx of anti Heathrow expansion movies thrust under their noses after a contest on the issue saw a filmmaking team win £10,000.
The no ifs no buts film competition welcomed about 1,000 people to Richmond Theatre at a gala evening on Wednesday, June 18, to pick a winning film out of a shortlist of 14 that all explained why expansion at the hub airport should not go ahead.
Judges Holly Willoughby, Hugh Grant, Rachel Johnson
Compered by former Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth, celebrity judges Hugh Grant, Holly Willoughby and Rachel Johnson, picked a top-three from the shortlisted films before they let the audience decide the winner.
The winners who bagged the £10,000 prize were Dan Grant, Andrew Chan and Tom Murray, who impressed with their movie Heathrow Won’t Listen.
The winning film: Heathrow Won't Listen (Dan Grant, Andrew Chan and Tom Murray)
Mr Murray, 22, said: “I was completely shocked. To turn around and see the audience was completely overwhelming. It was something I didn’t expect and I am very grateful.”
Actor Hugh Grant praised the filmmakers for their efforts.
He said: “It was just plain difficult.
“Cliché after cliché comes pouring out of my mouth, but they could have all won prizes.”
Themes in the shortlisted films included air pollution, health risks, destruction of homes, noise and traffic impacts all associated with a third runway at Heathrow.
TV presenter Holly Willoughby said all of the films conveyed very strong messages.
She said: “This is a problem that affects so many people.
“It is not a given, it is real life – and we can do something about it.”
The film that came second place and won £3,000 was Hugh Grant’s favourite - an animation called Say No by Kevin Jarin and Jacob Green.
Say No (Kevin Jarin and Jacob Green) came in 2nd place
The competition was a direct revolt to Mr Cameron’s comments in 2009 when the then leader of the opposition said categorically there would be no third runway at Heathrow, “No ifs, no buts”.
Mr Goldsmith agreed to show the films to the Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage to reiterate the force of disdain for a third runway at Heathrow.
Mr Goldsmith added: “We got 100 times more responses than I was hoping for.
“All of these films are going to help us win this campaign.
“The standard was very high and the messages are very powerful.
“No Government can deliver Heathrow expansion.
“This is just the tip of a very very huge iceberg.”
In third place and the welcome recipients of a £1,000 prize was Gabor Eszenyi with his film Life Under the Path.
Life Under the Path (Gabor Eszenyi)
Peter Willan, chairman of Richmond Heathrow Campaign, which supported the contest, said it was encouraging to see filmmakers show an interest in an issue campaigners have been fighting for.
He said: “It broadcasts the campaign and focuses the attention on the issues and it brings home the impact on real people’s lives.
“This is a unique and innovative way of getting the message across.”
Students from Barnes Film Academy are making a documentary of the competition for Mr Goldsmith.
Winner Tom Murray holds a giant cheque with (L-R) Gyles Brandreth, Zac Goldsmith MP, Hugh Grant, Holly Willoughby and Rachel Johnson