School of Arts & Media 13.07.20

University of Salford stars nominated for Royal Television Society Awards

Two ones-to-watch in the world of television are University of Salford students Pien Meulensteen and Matea Petrović, both of which have been nominated in the upcoming RTS Student Television Awards 2020

The prestigious awards celebrate the best audiovisual work created by students, with an undergraduate and postgraduate winner both awarded in each category across Animation, Comedy & Entertainment, Drama, Factual, News and Short Form.

23-year-old BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism Pien Meulensteen from Wilmslow has been nominated in the Undergraduate News category for ‘A Roof Over Our Heads’, a telling investigation into why so many young people are finding it difficult to buy their first home, with Pien speaking to tenants and landlords to find out if renting is the way forward. With a lack of affordable housing in the UK, she also meets people who have found alternative ways to buy a home.

“As a 23-year-old buying your first home is definitely something you start thinking about,” said Pien. “Although for many it can seem very out of reach, and with renting becoming increasingly expensive, you can understand why so many people in their early twenties live at home with their parents.”

“It a subject I really wanted to shine a light on. I’m quite a perfectionist and wanted to do the best job possible. Getting the RTS nomination has been amazing and made all the hard work worthwhile.”

Sports-mad and lifelong Manchester United fan Pien is currently working as a reporter for the world-famous club at the same time as presenting for BBC Radio Manchester.

“It was great to study at MediaCityUK as all the big networks were right on your doorstep. I started working at the BBC while studying, often calling in for short shifts after my lectures had finished,” she added.

"Pien's work won in the News category at the North West RTS Student Television Awards, and this national nomination is further reward for her hard work and dedication, said Paul Duckworth, Lecturer at the University of Salford. "I mentored Pien through her investigation and was constantly impressed by her drive, work ethic, and the sensitive way she approached a subject which can be a cause of stress for many young people. She's got the talent to go to the very top."

Andrew Lindsay, Lecturer at the University of Salford, added: “Pien was an extremely focussed and hard-working student from the induction week of her first year and was working for the BBC well before she graduated. It’s great to see her name shortlisted - she’s definitely one to watch for the future.”

28-year-old MA Media Production: TV Documentary Production Matea Petrović from Zagreb in Croatia is also shortlisted in the Postgraduate Factual category for her documentary ‘Carrying Myself’.

Her work is a complex, harrowing, intimate and ultimately heart-warming film about an intellectual, courageous, 23-year-old disabled man sweating out an existential crisis during the heatwave of the Croatian summer.

“Many times I have witnessed situations where members of society have been stereotyped because of their disability in Croatia,” said Matea. “Fortunately, my protagonist and the main contributor is my good friend who let me into his world completely. He gave me lots of insight and connections to other people with disabilities who felt marginalised.”

On finding out she had been nominated, Matea said: “I am very thrilled because it means the film will have a bigger impact. Being a young documentary filmmaker, this is a huge personal achievement and I really hope it will inspire all those people, with or without disabilities, who are still finding their courage and voice.”

Matea would like to forge a career in the UK due to its thriving media industry and thanks to her fond memories studying at the University of Salford.

“All the lecturers were so helpful and gave advice whenever I needed it. I also met so many great people on my MA programme – it was such a joy being around them, they definitely made my student days much easier.”

Lyndon Saunders, Lecturer at the University of Salford, said: “I’m delighted that Matea has been shortlisted in these national awards, putting her up there with the best of the best. I’d encourage everyone to spare 30 minutes to watch her incredible film and wish her all the very best at the awards.”

Beth Hewitt, Creative Director - Media City Directorate at the University of Salford, added: "We are delighted for Matea. For her film to be shortlisted to the final three is an accolade of her ability and creativity. Without doubt this marks her out to be among the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers."

Our staff are second to none in terms of their academic, industry-based and filmmaking careers. The combination of their own talents and their desire to nurture the next generation inspires and enriches the teaching and learning we provide. This as very good news for all our students and staff at MediaCityUK and I wish Matea all the very best of luck at the awards."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be no physical ceremony this year but winners will be announced online on 26 June 2020.