A short film by Media Production graduates about racism during the American Civil War is in the running for a leading film prize in the US.
Black Hill, a short film which was created by former students who formed their own media company Blue Ridge Films, is one of only a handful of British short movies chosen to be showcased at the 14th annual Newport Beach Film Festival in America.
Their 22-minute movie is about a mute black woman who helps a wounded confederate soldier battle racism during the American Civil War, and will be shown at the festival on April 30 as part of the Never a Short Dull Moment programme of films.
The film was made possible after the graduates took advantage of the university’s Speed Plus enterprise support programme to start up their business while studying in 2011.
Blue Ridge Films’ managing director Steven Ringrose, 26, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us and we’re delighted our film was chosen to be shown at Newport Beach. “It’s great to be able to represent Britain and the West Midlands at such a prestigious international event, and Coventry University has been really supportive in helping us get the funds together to fly out there.
“It’s also good to be able to report that we’re busy given the current economic climate, a climate which can be hard for start-ups. Three of us are travelling to California this week to represent Blue Ridge at the event, but because of the amount of work we’ve got on at the moment the rest of the team will keep things ticking over back home.
“Hopefully we will have some silverware to bring back for them!”
Black Hill was shot by the graduates on location in Almería in Spain, and has already won critical acclaim in the UK, scooping an award at the Fourth Wall Film Festival in Wolverhampton and drawing praise from local movie director Debbie Isitt, of Nativity! fame.
She said: “Black Hill was really impressive. It was so well conceived – so epic and powerful – a genuinely great piece of filmmaking.
“The location was stunning and the score so epic and biblical almost in its feel – very filmic indeed.
“I loved the limited dialogue and the strong performances. The cinematography was vivid and confident and every aspect of the film felt as though it was pulled together by the story which was wonderfully structured, bleak but important.”
The Newport Beach Film Festival runs until May 2 to showcase short films from around the world ranging from romance and animation to comedy and documentary.
Read more: http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2013/04/27/graduates-film-shortlisted-for-award-92746-33243797/#ixzz2RrjBi0D6
Americas second amendment (the right to bear arms) continues to be a hotly contested issues on both sides of the argument. The debate cuts to the very core of American culture, politics and to many Americans constitutes a symbol of their very identity. Third year Media Production student Jambo Dann is currently travelling across the U.S.A filming a documentary that hopes the discover from ordinary Americans themselves what it is that makes this topic so emotive, and what the future might hold for one of Americas longest infatuations.
Media Production students recently got the opportunity to visit Berlin, both to produce short film and documentary projects and to attend the world renowned Berlinale International Film Festival. Highlights of the trip included hobnobbing with the great and good behind the scenes at the film festival, filming in a deserted theme park, and of course exploring the iconic cultural monuments of Berlin itself.
See more pictures here
We’re extremely excited about being joined today by Cinematographer/Director/Filmmaker, DSLR guru and all round great bloke Mr Phillip Bloom. For those of you living on another planet who don’t know who Phillip is, check out his superb website and get following him on twitter @PhillipBloom for all things video related and the latest tech advice.
We’ve enjoyed a great Q&A this morning, discussing careers in the media industry, video camera geekery (its what you shoot, not what you shoot on) and how to avoid getting your gear nicked by a particularly discerning gang of monkeys in South Africa, and we’re now looking forward to Phillips Masterclass this afternoon.
You can check out some of Phillips work here.
Media Production has partnered with global pop-up film festival Future Shorts this month to host a unique screening of its Autumn 2012 award winning film selection.
Future Shorts, the biggest film festival of its kind, showcases the most exciting and innovative short films from around the world, connecting global stories with global audiences. Since November 2011, festival screenings have taken place in over 541 cities and 178 countries with an audience of more than 75,000 people experiencing a showcase of the very best in short film.
The film festival, which takes place on 27th November 7:00-9:30 in the university’s state of the art student centre ‘The Hub’, has been organised in collaboration with Future Shorts by 2nd year Coventry University Media Production students and filmmakers Tom Longstaff, Dan Hooper and Luke Collins who also manage the the Coventry University Short Film Society and offers a unique chance to experience these films alongside fellow cineasts in a cinema style setting.
Tom Longstaff, student & president of the short film society said,
“We knew about the Future Shorts festival for a while and decided that it would be great to bring its unique festival experience to Coventry and of course to be able to watch some incredible films in the process”
Dan Hooper, student & event co-ordinator added,
“The experience we’ve gained through working with an organisation like Future Shorts and promoting this event has been excellent and one that we’re really keen to build on in the future… basically we would just encourage people to come along, watch some cool films and have a drink – its going to be fantastic!”
Rite. Dir. Michael Pearce. UK. 2010
Highlights of the Autumn selection include “A Brief History of John Baldessari” from the directors of CATFISH and narrated by Tom Waits, alongside “Rite” nominated for Best Short Film at BAFTA Scotland, Winner of Sundance’s Short Filmmaking Award, “The Black Balloon”, Winner of Special Jury Mention at Tribeca Film Festival “Cafe Regular”, and winner of over 50 International awards “Auf Der Strecke” (On the Line). To see the full programme line up click here.
The event is open to the public, there will be a pay bar open on the night and entry is £1 per person.
When: Tues 27th Nov, 7:00-9:30
Where: Square 1, The Hub, Coventry University
Media production undergraduates at Coventry University have been putting their film-making skills to the test in a different kind of sport-themed endeavour this summer.
Two student film companies – the Blue Ridge Film Group and Clever Lens Media – from the University’s Department of Media recently joined forces with the Sytner Group to create a series of short films relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Pole-vaulting ace Steve Lewis, triathlete Jodie Stimpson, discus thrower Dan Greaves and synchronised swimming star Yvette Baker each make an appearance in the films, one of which was shot at the MIRA test facility in Nuneaton using a range of MINIs from the Sytner Group’s Midlands dealerships.
Professional stunt drivers were used for a series of high-performance driving scenes, which were designed in their entirety by the students. Swimmer Yvette Baker is seen posing as a skilled driver, gracefully spinning her MINI into a tight space between two cars in perfect synchronisation with another MINI.
The students originally came up with the creative pitch for the films earlier this year, and – having impressed the Sytner Group’s marketing team with their ideas – began shooting in April.
Pete Woodbridge, senior lecturer in open media at Coventry University, said:
“For the students involved, this was a fantastic and exciting opportunity to work on a challenging project with a sports and automotive theme. They impressed everyone involved with their creativity in coming up with a narrative for the films which linked the athletes’ elite performance with the performance of the vehicles.
“It’s a testament to the professionalism and entrepreneurial instincts of our students that, having set up their own companies, they can still work together on projects to deliver high quality results.”
Malcolm Chambers, dealer principal at Sytner Oldbury, said:
“The project has been extremely interesting and rewarding, and we have worked with some very talented students from Coventry University. From our initial meeting through to seeing the completed video, I’ve been impressed with their ‘can do’ attitude and genuine desire to create a bespoke piece of work. I hope the students have enjoyed their time as much as we have. All in all, it’s been very enjoyable and worthwhile.”
The films are available to view on the Sytner Group’s YouTube channel, including the ‘MINI adventure’ video below. For more information on Coventry University’s BA (Hons) course in Media Production, please click here.
Final year Media Production students have recently closed the doors on their 2012 graduate degree show held at BAFTA London Headquarters and Coventry University’s Lanchester Gallery to great critical acclaim. Renowned UK film director Debbie Isitt (Nativity, Confetti) said of drama short ‘Black Hill’ “The cinematography was vivid and confident and every aspect of the film felt as though it was pulled together by the story which was wonderfully structured, bleak but important… It was so well conceived – so epic and powerful – a genuinely great piece of filmmaking. “
As a result of the huge success of the show called ‘Sixteen:Nine’, and the superb quality of the student work, we have created our first ever interactive catalogue to accompany the exhibition and enable virtual visitors a chance to view the work and learn more about the artists who created it.
The catalogue, available to download for free from the iTunes Store, showcases the work of this years graduates and features highlights and trailers from a diverse range of internationally produced short, feature length, and documentary films. Whether you’re a film aficionado, prospective director in waiting or would just like to check out the filmmaking talent, there’s something here to inspire everyone.
(Requirements: This iBook can only be viewed using iBooks 2 on an iPad running iOS 5. size 450MB)
Media Production students from Coventry University will be exhibiting their creative work at the 2012 Degree Show and at a special event at BAFTA over the next few weeks.
The work includes film, documentary and photography projects dealing with a range of issues from around the world. With students travelling far and wide to make their work in countries including Iceland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania, China, the USA and more.
The work on show this year includes documentaries such as:
- ‘Behind the Monastery Walls‘ which looks at the lives of monks and nuns in Romanian Monasteries
- ‘Katie’ which explores the personal life of a young woman living with Cerebral Palsy
- ‘The Deutch/ish Feeling‘ which looks at the lives of a Turkish community living in Berlin
- ‘After the Races’ telling the story of a persons fight to provide care for retired and injured racing greyhounds
- ’Mansion’ that deals with the dilapidation of a family’s heritage in a Chinese city
- ‘Silent Voices’ that tells the story of Somali communities in the UK
- ‘Scootering’ following the lives of some modern day mods
- ‘Jack Lord‘ – a music documentary about an up and coming folk artist recording his first album
- and many more
We also have a selection fiction works including:
- ‘Black Hill‘ – a short film about the American Civil war that was shot in Spain on a RED Camera
- ‘Latitude‘ – a geeky road trip feature film taking place in San Francisco and Los Angeles
- ‘Gelato‘ – a short film about a boy who discovers the secrets of ice-cream, shot in Italy
- ‘Bike‘ – an adaptation of a Stephen King Novella
- ‘Ping‘- a story about speed dating and modern love
- ‘Wu Ma (Weightlessness)’ which is a film dealing with stress and modern work, set in China
- and many more
The students have also worked on a range of professional projects this year including making films for the BBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics for the Big Screens in Cities across the UK. This year our students have even had their work screened on Sky TV and the BBC. They have also worked on a number of projects with companies and organisations such as BMW, Mini UK, Shanghai Motors, Coventry Cathedral, Kerrang Radio, Rolls Royce and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
The work will be on display at the 2012 Degree Show which launches on the 31st May in Coventry as well as at a special screening event at BAFTA in London on the 7th June.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Please contact p.woodbridge (at) coventry.ac.uk or r.varney (at) coventry.ac.uk for more information
This week the TV studio has been host to a veritable feast of live, scripted and mostly wholesome entertainment in the form of our 1st year NET-TV project (part of the Media Production TV formats module). Four shows were written and produced by teams of students over the past 2 months and culminated in this weeks live recordings which are available for your viewing pleasure here.
Projects involving Coventry University students have been highlighted in a new report on UK university involvement in the London 2012 Olympic games and preparations.
The Coventry Ambassadors and Godiva Awakes projects were both mentioned as good examples of a higher education institution working with local companies to become a key part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Coventry Ambassadors aimed to recruit local volunteers for the upcoming Olympic football events held at the Coventry Ricoh Arena and was supported by Media Production undergraduates who produced the regional initiatives promotional campaign video shown on BBC big screens and online.
Martin Yardley, Director of City Service and Development said “The film has had a fantastic reaction whenever we’ve shown it… it really sets Coventry apart from other local authorities and has undoubtedly helped us during the recruitment phase of the programme”
Ross Varney, Media Production Teaching Assistant added “The university and department have very strong ties with the city and it’s businesses, and it’s fantastic that our students can be involved in high profile professional projects like ‘Coventry Ambassadors’ that means they can say they were involved in bringing the London 2012 Olympics to life.”