Winners of the AHRC's 10th Anniversary Research In Film Awards announced

Date: 12/11/2015

The AHRC Research In Film Awards 2015

The winners of the AHRC’s 10th Anniversary, Research In Film awards have been announced by writer and broadcaster Danny Leigh this evening. The prize includes £2000 for future film making activities. The event was attended by film critics, industry experts and senior academics.

The films have been judged, to great acclaim, by a panel of industry and academic experts including film director Beeban Kidron; Financial Times Arts Editor, Jan Dalley; and actor and producer, Diana Quick. The event was attended by film critics, industry experts and senior academics. The awards attracted nearly 200 entries including, animations, reconstructions and enactments, installations and gallery pieces, music videos, documentaries, as well as co-produced work including collaborations with community groups.

The winners are:

Best film by an AHRC/AHRB-funded doctoral student since 1998

  • HazelJacqueline Donachie, Northumbria University
    Hazel is a short film that looks at families affected by the inherited neuromuscular disorder myotonic dystrophy. A series of interviews made with affected females and their unaffected siblings, the film Hazel reflects on the women’s attitudes to the ongoing effects of myotonic dystrophy on their physical and emotional wellbeing, whilst also looking at the wider effects of ageing.

    “Original, simple, human and evocative,” said the judges; “A deceptively simple film of real eloquence.”

Award for innovation in film – Best film in the last year

  • The Adventure of the Girl with the Light Blue HairRonan Deazley and Bartolomeo Meletti, CREATe University of Glasgow
    The Adventure of the Girl with the Light Blue Hair is the first episode of The Game is On!, a web series produced as part of the AHRC-funded activities of CopyrightUser.org. Drawing inspiration from numerous well-known copyright and public domain works, as well as recent copyright litigation, the video provides a springboard for exploring key principles and ideas underpinning copyright law and creativity.

    “A well-constructed, quality animation addressing issues of creativity, IP and copyright for schools and undergraduates” said judges; “lively, engaging, witty (a la Sherlock Holmes mode), informative and educating at the same time.”

The Anniversary Award – Best AHRC/AHRB- funded film since 1998

  • The Voice of TraditionLucy Duran, SOAS, University of London
    The voice of tradition is a documentary film examining how children acquire musical skills in one of Africa’s most celebrated oral traditions – that of Mali. It focuses on one of Mali’s most iconic singers, Bako Dagnon (1953 – 2015). In this film we hear Bako’s insightful views on song and memory, and see rare footage of young musicians learning and performing songs in the remote countryside of her native village. ‘The voice of tradition’ is part of a larger film-based project a primary output from the ‘Growing into Music’ project (2009-2012), part of the AHRC’s Beyond Text programme.

    “A very assured piece of work,” said judges, “engaging, entertaining and interesting from start to finish.”

Inspiration Award – Best film inspired by arts and humanities research

  • "This Island's mine"Myriam Rey
    “Shakespeare’s plays can be defined as a poetic exploration of human communication.” What happens when these two worlds meet ? This short film examines the ‘The Hunter Heartbeat Method’ developed by Kelly Hunter which uses Shakespeare to release the communicative blocks within children with autism. The filming took place only twice during two 40 minutes long sessions with the children. The film aims to tell the story of these children in that particular space at that specific moment of time.

    Judges said this film was “a straightforward but powerful account of work with a very challenging group of young people”; “a powerful film expressing the value of this particular arts therapy project. It highlights the power of art to break down barriers between people who communicate differently.”

Best film produced by a researcher or research team in the last year

  • KANRAXËL: The Confluence of AgnackAnna Sowa, SOAS/Chouette Films, University of London
    There is almost no research, let alone outreach or creative material, on rural African multilingualism. This film therefore represents a unique cultural and creative resource, conveying aspects of diversity and multilingualism in Africa. It paints a portrait of diversity and multilingualism as a daily, hourly linguistic practice, drawing the audience in by telling the story of the village of Agnack Grand preparing for an unforgettable event.

    This is “a beautifully filmed and scripted film,” said judges; “a highly sophisticated film, beautifully shot, cut, and recorded, which conveys the nature of multilingual life in the village very effectively indeed.”

The awards are designed to recognise the creative and innovative work being undertaken at the interface between research and film by researchers, practitioners and filmmakers among the UK arts and humanities research community.

For media enquiries please contact the AHRC Press Office on 01793 416021 or email d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes for Editors

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

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