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How to make a winning charity film - with Smiley Charity Film Awards winners RSPCA

Words by Abi Scaife

We’re a month out from our Smiley Charity Film Awards ceremony now - and we’re still not over it! It was a completely unforgettable experience, and the whole team loved being able to celebrate some of the incredible charities that work to make our world a better place.

If you didn’t have a chance to enter into the Smiley Charity Film Awards this year but are looking forward to next time, we’ve got great news for you. 

Smiley News caught up with our Grand Prix People’s Choice Film of the Year winner, RSPCA, to learn more about their film ‘Together’, their experience with the awards, and hear their tips and tricks for making a winning film.

All quotes can be attributed to Alan Laxton, the Broadcast Manager at RSPCA.

Tell me about your film - what was its purpose?

Our film, ‘Together’, aims to highlight the huge range of people who are involved in the rescue of animals and support the work of the RSPCA dedicated frontline teams - including staff, volunteers, and supporters. No matter your contribution - you are helping animals in need. 

Why do you think films like the one you created are so important for charities?

Effective storytelling in films like this can help communicate complex issues in a way that people can relate to, inspiring engagement, and support and sparking discussions on the issues raised. That's particularly evident with the Charity Film Awards as a platform where so many ideas and issues can be brought to the forefront of people's minds. 

What did it feel like to win?

It feels special and poignant that this award was chosen by the public - as this film is all about highlighting how animal welfare is a team effort; and that our dedicated frontline officers couldn't get to calls about cruelty and neglect without everyone doing their bit - from the charity fun runner raising money for us, to the kind-hearted member of the public taking a stray animal they find to a local vet.

What does winning mean for your charity?

It's a huge honour to have won the People's Choice award this year. It's a lovely way to celebrate our 200th Anniversary this year, we have taken part in the Charity Film Awards since it started and it has given us a wonderful platform to celebrate creative storytelling in the charity sector. It means extra opportunities to engage with our wonderful supporters, but also allows us to reach new audiences who may not have seen our film before. Winning the award this year means that our message is amplified further, so we can help even more animals!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about entering the Charity Film Awards for next year?

Try to think of new perspectives to tell your story, framing your message in an interesting, creative way helps to cut through and grab people's attention. Engaging with your supporters is also really key, giving them the opportunity to take action after seeing your film really helps build momentum and can be anything from volunteering opportunities, donating or even sharing your film, every action has a real impact. 

You can learn more about RSPCA and what they do on their website. You can watch their award-winning film ‘Together’ here on the Smiley Charity Film Award website.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.  

RSPCA. This is the leading animal welfare charity in the UK, and they specialise in animal rescue & furthering the welfare cause for all animals. Find out more here.

Four Paws UK. This charity is an animal welfare organisation, working globally to help animals in need. Learn more here.

Wildlife Justice Commission. This international foundation works to end animal trafficking around the globe. Find out more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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