Hitchin’s modest Max uses Bafta to blag his way into bash

Hitchin's Max Williams triumphed at the BAFTAS on Sunday.

Hitchin's Max Williams triumphed at the BAFTAS on Sunday. - Credit: Archant

It was celebrations all round for a former Hitchin Boys’ School pupil who won a coveted Bafta award on Sunday evening.

Filmmaker Max Wiliams won best British Short Animation in 2015 for his film The Bigger Picture at the glitzy awards ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry – and now has his eyes on the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles later this month, because he’s been nominated for the same category there.

Speaking exclusively to the Comet, a delighted Max said: “It was surreal walking on the red carpet and being interview by television.

“We sat with some fellow National Film and Television School alumni at the back of the theatre who also won, so it was a double celebration.

“We were whisked off to a party afterwards until 3.30am. Our animator Chris Wilder disappeared, then we got a call saying he was at American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s party.

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“We told him we’d never be allowed in, but Chris just said bring the Bafta and show it to the bouncers as a calling card. Somehow we did – and it worked!

“We eventually left around 5.30am. Thankfully we still had the Bafta with us.

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“What I didn’t realise is it’s so heavy – it weighs a ton. We joked, saying if it landed on someone’s foot it’d be straight to hospital for them.

“It was an amazing night but I still have my feet on the ground. Only 18 months ago we were humble film students.

“I’ve still a long way to go but it’s a great honour for us all. We are heading back to Los Angeles for the Oscars, but after having been there last week it’s not so terrifying any more.

“Of course I’ll be looking to meet a few people – but I will also be looking to savour the experience.

“And I’m definitely going to frame the Comet’s story on me to go alongside my Bafta!”

Max’s proud mum Pam Rhodes, well known as a host of TV’s Songs of Praise, added: “I’m so happy and proud for Max. We got a message from him at 6am on Monday morning – he may have enjoyed his night and deservedly so!

“He’s a modest person and will be the first to tell you it was a team effort – but they won it through sheer skill and talent, and deserve their success. I am so proud of him – and it’s great for Hitchin, too.”

You can see The Bigger Picture and all the other BAFTA nominated shorts in local cinemas throughout March during the BAFTA Shorts Tour. http://www.bafta.org/film/awards/british-short-film-british-short-animation

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