A Jewish-owned production company has won two prestigious industry awards for films it made for Jewish charities.
London-based Vanilla Films won gold and silver in the Celebratory (Screen) category at the EVCOM Clarion Awards.
The films were made to raise funds for Kisharon, which helps people with learning difficulties, and One Family UK, which supports One Family Israel in providing assistance for victims of terror attacks.
Debra Sobel, co-founder and managing director of Vanilla Films, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled. These are national industry awards. We have lots of corporate clients but we’ve won for our work with Jewish charities, which is amazing.
“We genuinely want to help the charities to raise more money and to get industry recognition for that is incredible.”
Dave Comely, EVCOM commercial director, said the double win was a “remarkable achievement”.
He said: “The category was very strong with a high number of very good entries… and to be selected by a panel of corporate commissioners to be best and second best in category was an awesome feat. Well done Vanilla Films!”
The company was set up in 2006 by Ms Sobel and Karen Benveniste, after they met while working as producers on the BBC Crimewatch programme.
It has made films for many Jewish communal organisations including Jewish Women’s Aid, the Holocaust Educational Trust and Hasmoneon High School, as well as corporate clients such as Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic and Aviva.
EVCOM is Europe’s largest trade association for corporate communication and events. The coveted Clarion Award is the leading honour recognising performance in the industry.
Ms Sobel described the Kisharon film, called I’m Good, which won the gold award, as "uplifting and inspiring – a real feelgood film”.
It was shown at the charity’s dinner in May, which raised over £1 million on the night - a three per cent increase on the previous year.
After the dinner, it was launched on YouTube and across social media and became Kisharon’s most-watched video ever.
Richard Franklin, Kisharon’s director of fundraising and communications, said: "It feels great to have won five consecutive national industry awards now with Vanilla, which clearly shows that if you have a good team, strong ideas and great chemistry, you can create fantastic films with lasting impact."
The One Family UK film was also screened at the charity's annual fundraising dinner, which raised more than £900,000, a record.
The film was posted on the charity’s Facebook page, and was viewed almost 3,000 times within two days.
Andrew Alexander, chief executive of One Family, said: "We're absolutely delighted the film won silver. Testament to the hard work of Vanilla, proving a success financially for us and acclaim for the production team."