Edgar Allan Poe, dementia and a fencing champion were just some of the inspirations behind this year’s graduating Film and TV Production students. Their final year films were recently screened at a special Media Gala at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, before an audience comprising leading members of the film and TV industry.
The Gala offered students the opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity and forge connections with industry experts, professionals and critics. This year’s films included documentary and drama that presented creative angles and an innovative approach to film recording and editing. As part of the screening, the audience saw Venus, a film by Faye Carr-Wilson and Magenta Sharp about a faux drag queen with a physical disability. Jordan Calvert and Ellie Deighton also explored the world of drag queens in their movie, Fluid.
Dementia and its impact on people’s lives was explored in two different movies: Away for a While by Lauren Byrne and The Last Thing We See by Jack Colvin. Richard Hewitson centred his drama around the interface of technology with humans, while Tommy Germaine decided to adapt the classic Edgar Allan Poe story TheTell-Tale Heart.
Robert Jefferson, Programme Leader, Film and TV Production at Northumbria, said: “I am really impressed by the quality of the films our students have created this year. They have shown they don’t conceive limits when it comes to filming, which allows me to anticipate a brilliant and successful future for them in whatever aspect of the movie industry they want to pursue.”
Northumbria’s Media Production degree, founded in 1986, has earned a solid reputation for the quality of its graduates. The course’s leading alumni includes cult-director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Centurion,Game of Thrones), producer Samm Haillay (Better Things, Self Made) and writer Sean Conway (Ray Donovan).
At the screening graduating students were also presented with awards. Jordan Chang received an award for best editing, Ali Hutchinson for best cinematography, Alex McGee for best screenplay and Faye Carr-Wilson and Magenta Sharp for best film for Venus.
Graduate Faye Carr-Wilson was presented the best film award by Charles Martin, director of British teen drama Skins and crime noir detective series Marcella. Faye said: “After the recent tragedy in Orlando, we are proud to have made a film which celebrates the LGBT community and to have received this award for our work. Overall our experience at Northumbria has been very rewarding.”
This event was closely followed by Northumbria’s Animation Gala, also held at Tyneside Cinema, which presented the final year creations of graduating animation students. The audience saw the premiere of Stephen Stephenson’s Fragments of Familiarity, a videogame about the fragility of memory. Another animation, James Evan’s Dreamtime is a painstakingly hand-drawn and coloured creation, based around the aboriginal myth of how the world began.
Paul Dolan, Senior Lecturer in Animation at Northumbria, said: “It’s one of the highlights of the year for us to see student work on the big screen.
This is the third year we’ve shown Animation BA and MA work at the Tyneside Cinema, and the students love it. It’s a great way to celebrate three or four years of hard work; alongside friends, family and members of the animation industry.
“There’s an interesting mix of 2D, 3D, game and experimental projects this year which we’re proud to put our names to and unleash into the world.
“We are also very impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness of some of the game projects being developed on the course, which feed into the indie game community and help expand the boundaries of what videogames can do.”
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