This month some talented film makers are jetting off from their home town of Leeds to the heady heights and glamour of LA to attend the famous Oscars® after their short film Shok was nominated for the prestigious award!
Director Jamie Donoughue, the son of our regular columnist Gary Don, and fellow Leeds lad, Producer Harvey Ascott will be rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous faces of Hollywood on the red carpet along with other members of the production team and cast of Shok on the 28th February, while another Loiner, Producer Howard Dawson will be cheering them on from home due to other commitments.
Having first worked as a camera operator and then studying Production at Salford University, Jamie went into directing music videos, dividing his time between Leeds and London. Shok, set and filmed in Kosovo is his first venture into drama and he is thrilled to be nominated. He told us “It is so hard to describe how I feel.
The journey to this point has been fantastic, in your career you can only dream of being nominated so it’s unreal. It is a great honour and also it’s the 1st time a film from Kosovo has been nominated so it is amazing to be a part of their history too.”
The film came about after Jamie got stranded in Kosovo for five weeks instead of the planned few days following the eruption of the Icelandic volcano four years ago. While there he learnt about the history and heard personal stories of the people and what they had suffered as a result. Appalled that he, like many British people knew so little about the events that had happened in the country he decided to tell the story through a short film.
He involved Harvey who he has grown up with in the film industry, and also Howard who he has worked with for years.
Harvey now has a successful career as a music videos and commercials producer, and Howard, having previously worked at Film Lab North for ITV, is now an independent producer putting his experience of over 30 years in the industry to excellent use. Howard said of the nomination “Being in the industry longer than the others it feels quite strange, surreal. The world of the Oscars® is a very different one to working here in Leeds. As well as myself, Jamie and Harvey growing up in Leeds, much of the team also have connections to the city having either studied at the Northern Film School, or worked here. It’s fantastic for all of us.”
Based on true events, ‘Shok’ is set during the escalation of the Kosovan War when the country was occupied by Serbia. Two young Kosovan boys, Petrit and Oki, are the best of friends. After Oki buys a bike, Petrit is desperate to have one of his own. Ever the businessman Petrit finds a niche dealing smoking papers to the occupying Serbian troops. However, with tensions and violence escalating in the country, many would see this as traitorous. Building a steady network of contacts, Petrit drags Oki into ever more dangerous situations until their lives are put at risk. As their relationship is tested to the limits they begin to encounter the true intentions of the Serbians and learn the meaning of friendship.
Antique specialist and our regular columnist Gary Don is of course extremely proud of his son and comments “I am thrilled that Jamie and the rest of the team have been nominated for this award, I wish them all luck and if they bring the statuette home that will be tremendous!”
Look out for Jamie, Harvey and the rest of the team on the red carpet and keep your fingers crossed that they bring the famous statue back to Leeds!

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