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Inspirational teenagers were honoured at the The British Academy of Film and Television Arts after scooping prizes in a prestigious anti-smoking film competition.

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The UK-wide competition – supported by Archant London, publishers of London24 and the Barking & Dagenham Post – was run by the Deborah Hutton Campaign through its Cut Films project.

Set up in memory of Deborah Hutton, who was health editor at Vogue magazine for 20 years, the organisation is a peer-to-peer smoking prevention charity.

The respected journalist started smoking as a teenager and, though she went on to give up and lead a healthy lifestyle, she died from lung cancer, aged 49, in 2005.

The National Cut Films Awards 2012 saw school and college students from across the country produce two-minute films aimed at persuading their friends to refrain from smoking.

Three London schools were among those honoured at the awards ceremony last Thursday. Charlie Stebbings, the charity’s founder and Deborah’s husband, said: “It is important we recognise their work. The message from these young film-makers is quite simply ‘don’t smoke’ and that’s really important.”

Handing awards to several schools were T4 television presenter Will Best and award-winning writer Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider stories. Michael Adkins, acting editor of the Post, handed over a special Archant Award.

After awarding the overall honour to Lambeth College student Chloe Wilson, 19, who made a short film called Liquid, Mr Horowitz said: “I knew Deborah Hutton from university and it’s fabulous to keep her name alive and make some sense of her untimely death.”

He added: “I come to Bafta all the time and watch films by Danny Boyle and Steven Spielberg. Now your work has been on the same screen, and franky it thoroughly deserves to be.”

After the awards ceremony, TV presenter, comedian and writer Clive Anderson held a live auction, raising £52,000, at a fundraising dinner.

Emma Wrafter, director of The Deborah Hutton Campaign and Cut Films, said: “The sheer amount of talent from the 2012 film-makers has been staggering.

“The young people who entered have really thought about the impact of smoking, particularly on their peer group, and this is reflected in the standard of films we have this year.”

London-based winners included Chloe Wilson, scooping the National Short Film Winner 2012 for ‘Liquid’ and Hackney’s Clissold Park School won the Young Judges Highly Recommended - 2012 for their film ‘Why Champions Don’t Smoke.’

Archant’s London Award 2012, as voted by the general public, went to Maria Fidelis Convent School for ‘Why I Smoke.’

The campaign works in partnership with the government, local authorities, schools and youth groups to deliver targeted anti-smoking interventions.

Each year 100,000 people in the UK die from smoking-related diseases.

n The National Cut Films Competition 2013 is now open. Closing date is April 19. 2013. Visit http://www.cutfilms.org

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