Trans pro gamer Emma ‘Emzii’ Rose wins prestigious award at inaugural ESI Film Festival

Graham Robson October 21, 2023

Trans pro gamer Emma ‘Emzii’ Rose has won a prestigious award at the inaugural ESI Film Festival, which took place on Friday, October 20.

The inaugural edition of the festival took place in London at the iconic British hub of film, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, with the curtains drawn back to reveal the winners in a night that celebrated the champions of cinema across gaming and esports.

Held by B2B esports and media company Esports Insider (ESI), alongside their non-profit partner ESG Gaming, ESI Film Festival received over 40 entries, with submissions ranging from global fashion brands, alongside esports organisations through to a group of passionate students. For this year, the festival’s themes revolved around digital inequality, diversity, and mental health, shining a light on the potential for gaming and esports to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

The ceremony began with the announcement of the community vote winner, which was awarded to Exploring esports for recovery, a short documentary examining how esports and gaming can support the health and wellbeing of service personnel and veterans.

The top three submissions were then announced and shown to the audience. In third place was Game Flow, a documentary discovering how three people with mood and anxiety disorders use gaming as a powerful tool for self-care. In second place was AFK: Changing the Narrative, which delves into the life of a former pro gamer, now turned esports host, Jacob ‘Pimp’ Winneche, through his past struggles with physical and mental health.

The winner of ESI Film Festival was then announced, with the crown being awarded to Emzii: It’s for Everyone. This 14-minute documentary follows the life of a pro gamer Emma ‘Emzii’ Rose, who recently competed at the Commonwealth Games, showing her experience of being a transgender woman in the gaming and esports space, and some of the challenges that she has had to face due to this.

The top three submissions shared a prize pool of £10,000, with first place receiving £5,000, second place receiving £3,000, and third place receiving £2,000. Alongside this, all three winners received invites to attend BAFTA’s Games Sessions Open Day in April 2024, which will celebrate the nominees of their annual Games Awards.

You can find further information on ESI Film Festival HERE