LFA Students win at NAHEMI Kodak Student Commercial Awards 2023

15 June 2023

Last week LFA MA students headed to the NAHEMI Kodak Student Commercial Awards 2023 for an afternoon of screenings and celebration, with LFA student-directed film ‘What If’ successfully scooping up not one but two prizes.

It’s always a great opportunity for LFA students to be part of the NAHEMI, aka the National Association for Higher Education in the Moving Image, and their continued efforts to represent and develop teaching and learning within the filmmaking space. Through their competitions, conferences, and film festivals, they are connecting higher education institutions from across the UK, with the most notable event being the collaboration with Kodak.

The NAHEMI Kodak Student Commercial Awards 2023 offers students from different UK-based institutions the chance to compete and get creative, with a brief to shoot a 30-second commercial using their 10 minutes’ worth of 16mm film stock provided by Kodak before being shown on the big screen at the iconic Regent’s Street Cinema.

‘What If’ director and crew with accepted awards

This year LFA’s winning commercial ‘What If’ entry was directed by MA Filmmaking student Ilona Khvartskiia, who accepted the awards for Best Brief and second place for Best Overall Film on behalf of the cast and crew. The commercial, made for Adidas, introduces the concept of broadening perspectives in football. This is done by highlighting the presence and skills of female football players and emphasising that being a true football fan means supporting both men's and women's games.

Director Ilona Khvartskiia says…

It was our second experience with film after our first semester at school. The filmmaking process was a challenging yet rewarding journey. We had a very limited time frame for filming, with only two hours of access to the soccer field to shoot all the planned shots. Despite the time constraints, we are proud of the result we achieved in 'What If', successfully creating a professional-looking commercial without a budget.


Being on the big screen and receiving two awards for 'What If' was a gratifying experience. Seeing our film projected on the large cinematic canvas was a mix of excitement and pride. Receiving two awards was beyond our expectations and immensely humbling. The recognition from the Kodak Awards further fuelled our passion for storytelling and inspired us to continue pursuing our interest in creating commercials.

Ilona Khvartskiia BA Filmmaking Student

You can watch the commercial here.

Full crew list for ‘What If’:

Writer and director: Ilona Khvartskiia 

1st AD: Polina Kontsereva

DOP: Dharmik Rajashekar Edula Janani 

Sound: Ajay Abhay Kavi

Boom: Samarjeet Sule

1st AC: Aleksandra Bodraia 

2nd AC: Nilabh Mozumdar

Gaffer: Mengxin Han 

Editor: Defne Auf 

Sound design: Edward Ezhov 

V.O: Alastair Train 



Alyx Ray

Megan Zabik

Teyah Phiri

Kristy Widodo

Mia Conlon

Alicia Hodgson

Tereza Petralia

LSE Women Football team



Liam Conlon

Christian Dart

Darius Latham-Koenig

We’re incredibly proud of our student's continued hard work and success at this year’s NAHEMI Awards, we can’t wait to see what’s next for them as their creative skill set grows.