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Loughborough social enterprise partnership scoops local film award

Loughborough social enterprise Just Animate partnered with Community Opportunities Loughborough to develop a film production project supporting adults with learning disabilities. The film they produced – Somnium – was entered into the Cheap Thrills Zero Budget Film Festival and won the Best Local Film Award.

The film tells the moving story of one woman’s journey to achieve Olympic victory in the face of adversity, personal loss and prejudice.

Seymour Lavine – Founder of Just Animate – is delighted by the film’s success and said: “The Award is justly deserved by everyone involved. Community Opportunities consider the project a massive achievement for their service users. It was an inspiration to be part of something that empowered people to participate in such a powerful creative media project.”

Seymour is currently pursuing a PhD at Loughborough University’s School of the Arts. It was during his studies that he first developed a passion for social enterprise.

Securing funding in 2012 from UnLtd – the UK’s leading supporter of social entrepreneurs – helped him to launch his venture. Since then, Just Animate has provided media training, workshops, and creative media outreach to a range of local organisations, including two Leicester-based, Mencap-supported groups – Bright Lights and We Think.

These projects are using animation to explore issues chosen by the participants – hate crime and relationships. The films will be used as awareness-raising and educational resources. Animation is providing the groups with an alternative form of advocacy whilst helping them to develop a wide range of new skills.  

This work is subsidised by the enterprise’s commercial production arm which undertakes a variety of commissions for organisations in both the business and third sectors.  

A recent commission was for Move Your Money UK – an independent campaign that raises awareness of and promotes the need for better banking practices.

Just Animate produced a short animated film now being used to help people understand what banks actually do with their money, so that they can make a fully-informed decision when switching their current account to another bank.

Senior Commercialisation Fellow and Head of the University’s graduate commercialisation hub – the Studio – Megan Powell Vreeswijk said: “Just Animate is a stand-out social enterprise which is going from strength to strength. It gives a much-needed voice to disadvantaged groups whilst providing them with the confidence and transferable skills to engage with those around them. Seymour’s talent and commitment are an inspiration. I wish him and Just Animate every success.” 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/223

(1) Launched in 2013, Just Animate is a social enterprise that provides animation and creative media workshops for people in Leicestershire, prioritising people with learning disabilities, the elderly, local schools, disadvantaged young people and adults, and other minority and community groups.

(2) Community Opportunities Loughborough (Leicestershire) is a local community service for people with learning disabilities. It provides opportunities for people to be involved in their community, and undertake activities independently – such as finding employment, volunteering, and going to college, as well as sporting activities such as “Active Together”.

(3) Cheap Thrills Zero Budget Film Festival is an independent free collaborative community film festival held in Sheffield and Loughborough.

(4) Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.


Paula Hamill
Marketing Officer (Enterprise)
Enterprise Office
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228684

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