Anna Heinamaa

Date published: January 20, 2016

Salford Graduate Nominated for Golden Globe

Our very own graduate, Anna Heinamaa, was recognised for her latest work, The Fencer, at the prestigious Golden Globe Awards this year.

Anna, 54, wrote and developed the script whilst studying for a Master’s degree in Film Screenwriting at Salford. The film is based on a true story of Endel, an Estonian fencer, who is forced to return home as he escapes from the Russian secret police.

Anna’s inspiration for the film came when she first met Endel’s daughter Helen Nelis-Naukas, who now runs her father’s fencing school. After hearing about the ‘classic hero’ journey Endel had made, Anna drew on this story when she had to write a film script for a degree module.

Since then the film, which was produced in late February 2014, has received national recognition, having been selected as the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film (link to at the 88th Academy Awards and Finland’s submission for a Best Foreign Language Oscar.

Anna said: “It’s a great honour to be nominated for a Golden Globe. I’m hoping that it will make people more aware of the fact that a great screenplay – a well-written heartfelt story – is the foundation that a successful film builds on.

“The programme at Salford took my writing to a whole new level by giving me the tools to understanding what the art of storytelling is all about, so I was thrilled by that experience.”

One of Anna’s former lecturers, Colin Muir, Programme leader for MA Television and Radio Scriptwriting at the University of Salford, added: “Anna studied on the MA for two years and was an analytical, imaginative and dedicated writer.

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