International award for graduate's film
Jonathan Brough at his graduation ceremony in September 2014 with Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who was awarded an honorary doctorate the same day

A Plymouth University graduate has won an international award for a project which tells the story of his efforts to cope with the effects of meningitis.

Jonathan Brough, who graduated in 2014, was given an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Film Competition for his 16-minute film Perseverance Beyond Doubt.

The inspirational story tells of his own strength and determination to overcome life’s challenges, charting his journey after contracting meningitis and the subsequent triumphs and successes he has achieved.

He said:

“It was a privilege for my film to have been chosen for consideration let alone to win an award. I want my story to show how it’s not the disability that defines you but who you are and the way you approach life. My films are a message of positivity and hope which proves how disability doesn’t have to be limited by what we think we can or cannot do.”

Jonathan, now 27, was in Canada training to be a skiing instructor when he was diagnosed with the condition, and subsequent complications left him paralysed from the neck down.

But despite his disability, and the fact he requires round the clock care, he fulfilled his dream of pursuing his studies and last year achieved a first in BA (Hons) Media Arts at Plymouth University.

During his studies he won numerous accolades, with Perseverance Beyond Doubt being named Best Student Film at the 2014 St Albans Film Festival and included as part of the American Online Film Awards Spring Showcase.

A second film, Keep Fighting (Meningitis & Me), won an Award of Merit in the 2014 Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival and received widespread acclaim, after being made for the UK charity Meningitis Now, to raise awareness of the condition.

Jonathan was also named Student of the Year in 2014 Media Innovation Awards, which are designed to recognise creative innovation and talent across the South West.

In receiving an accolade at the Best Shorts competition, he joins the ranks of other high-profile winners including The Weinstein Company for Market Hours, Disney Interactive for Vinylmation: A Love Story and Oscar winning production Mr Hublot from Laurent Witz from Luxembourg.

The awards aim to recognise film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry.