A UWS Ayr film student has been named a finalist at the prestigious British Short Film Awards.

Paul Chalmers created the film ‘Goodbye Joicey’ during the height of the pandemic, as it focuses on a semi-autobiographical story, based around survivors of the so-called “lad culture” that was prevalent in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Due to its success Paul,who created the film for his BA Performance course at University of the West of Scotland (UWS), has been listed in the Best Scottish Short Film category.

As well as producing short films, Paul has also been known to star in the productions as well, with his earliest role coming back in 2018, when he starred in a short called ‘Three’s Company’.

He has also featured in a number of television advertisements.

Speaking about his short film’s nomination, Paul said: “At the core of it, Goodbye Joicey is a story about people feeling forgotten; and the state they’ve been left in after surviving that negative culture that existed back then.

“It’s partly based on my own experiences, meshed in with that of people that I knew back then. Some people survived this culture, others did not. I wanted to give their stories a voice.”

The film came into existence through innovative digital methods of teaching employed at UWS during the pandemic.

Hailing from Glasgow, the 39-year-old aims to bring a contemporary Scottish voice to the ever evolving New Media landscape.

Paul added: “Ordinarily, we would have been assessed through an on stage performance, but because of the restrictions put in place through Covid, we weren’t able to do that.

“We were able to get creative – some students put on performances over Zoom, but that isn’t what I wanted to do, and I decided to go and make a film.

“I wouldn’t have ended up in this sphere, making films, if it hadn’t been for the flexibility offered to us during a very difficult time.

“The fact that it’s a finalist in the British Short Film Awards absolutely bowls me over, and it is really, really exciting.”

Paul now hopes to turn Goodbye Joicey into a one-man show.

Dr Stephen Langston, Programme Leader for BA Performance, said: “Goodbye Joicey is incredibly powerful, and I’m not at all surprised that it has been named as a finalist for these prestigious awards.

“It’s a huge endorsement for the BA Performance course and our students, and, of course, for Paul himself, who clearly has a very bright future ahead of him.”