A documentary commissioned by leading autism charity Prior’s Court has won Best Short Film at the Royal Television Society East Awards on 04 March.

The award was accepted by Richard and Rachel Prendergast – founders of Submotion Productions - who directed and produced the film Let Me Shine.   

Rachel Prendergast said;

We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It was an honour to be able to tell the story of the young people at Prior’s Court and capture their amazing bonds with the staff who support them. I just love that Prior’s Court live and breathe what they promote about aiming high – and hopefully this film depicts just how rewarding it can be when that’s put into practice.

Let Me Shine Royal Television AwardThe 12-minute film follows the journey of eight young people profoundly affected by autism as they travel to London’s iconic Abbey Road studios to record their own song – Let Me Shine. It calls for acceptance and understanding for those on the autistic spectrum and sees them overcoming enormous challenges to be a part of the production - the culmination of months of rehearsals and preparation.

The video serves to both highlight the harsh realities of living with autism, told first-hand by some of the parents – but also to demonstrate in a very uplifting way the extraordinary things these young people can achieve given the right support.

RTS East Chair and BBC East Assistant Editor Tony Campbell said;

We were delighted to give our award to Submotion Productions and Prior’s Court’s film Let Me Shine. It really captured the excitement and joy of the recording session at Abbey Road and was a deserving winner in a closely contested category.

Prior’s Court Chief Executive Mike Robinson wanted to create the film to promote understanding and awareness of those at the far end of the spectrum who are often under-represented. He said;

Many people will be familiar with autism in higher functioning forms, but autism is a spectrum condition which comes in all shapes and sizes. The young people at Prior’s Court all have severe autism and complex learning difficulties, which means that everyday tasks and activities we take for granted can be really tough. Sensory differences, anxieties, and difficulty communicating can lead to challenging behaviours and crisis situations. But that shouldn’t mean that they can’t lead fulfilling lives and access extraordinary experiences because it might be difficult. At Prior’s Court, we want to give our young people the opportunity to achieve their dreams just the same as any other young person of their age. Why shouldn’t Jamie have the chance to be a Rockstar for the day?

You can watch the video here. The song Let Me Shine at Abbey Road is available to stream or download on all major sites including iTunes and Spotify.