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Northumbria PhD student nominated in filmmaking awards

Press release   •   Nov 03, 2015 13:46 GMT

A Northumbria Arts PhD student has had her filmmaking abilities recognised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Research in Film awards.

Jacqueline Donachie’s film Hazel was recently shortlisted for the prestigious category of ‘Best film by an AHRC funded doctoral student since 1998’. The film is part of Jacqueline’s PhD research and is based around a series of interviews with two sisters, one of whom has the inherited genetic condition, Myotonic Dystrophy, and one does not.

The film explores the sisters’ attitudes to the ongoing effects of the disease and focuses not only on their physical and emotional wellbeing, but also takes a wider look at the effects of ageing. Myotonic Dystrophy is an inherited disease that affects the muscles and other body systems. It is characterised by progressive muscle wasting and weakness.
Hazel is also a personal reflection of Jacqueline’s own experience, with her sister, and many others in her family, who are affected by the condition.
“I’m delighted that my work has been shortlisted for this award from the AHRC”, said Jacqueline. “It’s great to receive recognition of my creative research with families affected by this genetic disease.”

The AHRC awards have attracted nearly 200 entries across five different film categories and mark the AHRC’s 10th anniversary. Each category highlights the creative and innovative work undertaken by filmmakers and academics, emphasising the strong connection between research and film in the arts and humanities community. The winner will receive £2000 to be invested in their future filmmaking activities.
“It’s a great list to be on”, added Jacqueline. “I am looking forward to the ceremony at the British Film Institute in London”.

Mark Chapman, graduate tutor in Media Production at Northumbria, has also been nominated for the awards for his film CAMREX. “We’re developing a highly innovative and accessible film production-based research culture here at Northumbria”, added Mark. “It’s great to be a part of that.”

The winners of the Research in Film Awards are to be announced 12 November.

For more information about the AHRC visit To find out more about studying Media and Arts at Northumbria University visit

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