CUMNOR'S answer to David Attenborough, who recently scooped a national award, is also setting records in the world of academia.

At just 24-years-old, Oxford-born filmmaker, Tom Ross, is said to be the youngest lecturer at a UK university when he took up his post in September last year.

In his short time on earth, Mr Ross, who lives in Cumnor Hill and went to Botley Primary School, not only travels the world for filming projects but also lectures at The University of South Wales.

Teaching digital production to first year students and studio production to second years, Mr Ross has set a high standard for other Millennials just starting out in their careers.

He said: "I'm not just a lecturer at the University I'm also a freelance filmmaker under the name Animantium Productions.

"My passion lies in wildlife filmmaking, because I just find animals and creatures so fascinating.

"I’ve always had a fascination with the natural world even as a kid, to go out watching and capturing it for others to admire is what I enjoy most.

"It's probably a cliche to say, but David Attenborough is definitely someone I aspire to and my film, 'A Tale of Bass', is like a typical Attenborough piece because it is driven by a behavioural based story."

He was awarded the Scottish Seabird Centre's Nature Photography Award in February this year for the short film, after entering the competition "at a punt" after a friend mentioned it.

Mr Ross said: "At the moment I am just trying to get myself established so I can continue doing what I love.

"Opportunities in this type of industry are difficult and you need to prove yourself and earn them.

"Whenever there is an opportunity which knocks at your door you just take it, you never know when the next one comes around.

"I love what I do and I want to continue doing it and have a long and successful career in this field, I don't want it to stop."

This was the first time the Scottish Seabird Centre included a short film category, and Mr Ross' winning documentary showed in beautiful detail the lives of gannets on Bass Rock, an island off the coast of Scotland which is home to the largest Northern gannet colony in the world.

Mr Ross said the aim of the film was to show off the wealth of wildlife in the Scottish seas and its ability to sustain and provide for the future.

Mr Ross added: "It’s always nice to win but when you’re told you've won by unanimous votes from both the judges and public, it adds to the achievement.

"But you never go into this type of industry for awards, you do it because you love and are fascinated by wildlife and the planet.

"I didn't even get to go to the ceremony because I was down in Cardiff lecturing, I didn't get to crack out my suit and tie."

Mr Ross said he had never intended to create the film specifically, but decided to use footage from his final masters project.

He completed his masters in Wildlife Filming at the University of West England in 2014-2015.

But despite his early on success in the year since his graduation, Mr Ross is certainly not planning to slow down any time soon.

He said: "This year I am really busy and I cannot wait to get stuck into a selection of great productions, some of which are with one of my childhood heroes.

"Nothing is more rewarding than being noticed for your work by someone who inspired you to choose your career.

"Alongside by lecturing duties, I am lucky enough to be filming abroad several times in numerous exotic locations."

Currently, Mr Ross, is enjoying the sun in the remote cluster of islands in Malaysia and Indonesia to film a docudrama, 'I am Ali Wallace'.

Later in the year he will be jetting off to Mexico to film turtles and venomous snakes for a National Geographic and Discovery program before flying to South America for a shoot in Brazil.

Mr Ross added: "I'm really looking forward to travelling to Mexico to film deadly snakes with one of my childhood heroes, Nigel Marven.

"It will be such a privilege and I hope I can learn a lot from him.

"After that I shoot off to the Serengeti to film the great African migration from hot air balloons for a month, spending every second in the middle of the action and living alongside the magical wildlife the area has to offer.

"I'm so excited to return to a place that once captivated me as a child.

"Personally I couldn't think of a better way of spending my time off during the summer before I start back lecturing next year."

And although Mr Ross will be jet setting across continents over the summer he will also be spending his time on projects in the UK.

He added: "Bar my international shoots, I am working as an independent here in the UK, creating an advert for Prostate Cancer Wales and TV pilots for a possible Animal Planet program series. All in all, I am very busy doing what I love and enjoy."

And despite only being in his early twenties, Mr Ross has some parting advice for the next generation, even after him, of filmmakers.

He said: "The best way to start out in this field of work is to simply get out there and practice, whether learning how to properly use a camera by shooting you back yard critters or challenging yourself to find something a little more exotic.

"Either way, the harder you try to make it in this profession, the rewards will always be worth it in the end. "If you have the passion and drive you will get there, but never become complacent because one documentary or one short film does not mean you don't have to try any more and be successful."

Watch A Tale of Bass online now at