On 24th April 2021 the C3 Centre and the Department of Media and Performance hosted the international and interdisciplinary conference around the themes of Connections “Communities and Communication”.
Co-hosted by Agata Lulkowska, Sharon Coleclough and Stephanie Steventon, this conference considered the ways in which creative digital communities start, develop and grow, what is created within those groups and how real connections are built through technology sharing and eventually within the virtual environment of online discussion and dissemination.
“The idea for the event emerged in early 2020 as we were entering into the unknown of what later developed into a full-blown pandemic. Coming from a perspective of practice-based researchers, we discussed the links between academia and the creative world, and we thought of the importance of connections – between disciplines, between cultures and between people. The idea of our hybrid-event was born. We did not expect such a spectacular response to our call for submissions. Between films and papers, we have received nearly 2500 applications from 105 countries. It was clear that there is a need for a positive reminder about what brings us all together. We were fortunate to secure some fantastic keynote speakers, both local and international, as well as invite our colleagues from the Department of Media and Performance to talk about some amazing projects they are working on.”
A new documentary series, made by Staffordshire University students, takes a deep dive into the global plastic pollution crisis
The six-part online series Plastic Pandemic was created by Isaac Robinson and Jonathan Eley while completing a Master’s degree in Film Documentary. It demonstrates how documentary film making can really help to bring science research alive and communicate the importance of the increasing threats to the planet, people and animals.
Fiona Graham, Associate Professor of Film Technology and Masters supervisor to Jon and Isaac, said the students spent many months developing their film project researching into Plastics Pollution and had pitched the idea to be a long form film. With the Covid pandemic and lockdown a year ago, this changed.
Jon and Isaac wanted to create a film about plastics pollution and to talk to people about the growing problem for the planet. Documentary form has the power to investigate, probe and tell stories that need to be heard and they were passionate to still do this despite the pandemic affecting film production. Staffordshire University’s Professor Claire Gwinnet was one of many contributors internationally to support their film.
The film students wanted to explore new methods and processes in documentary film online, as they were emerging from industry and we developed ideas working through the problems and solving the technical and creative issues that arose.”
They created an international research project for their Masters that had international contributors who may never have come forward before the pandemic.”
Staffordshire University’s new Department of Media and Performance (formerly Film, Media & Journalism, Humanities and Performing Arts) is organising an international and interdisciplinary conference around the themes of Connections. It will take place online on 24th April 2021.
This conference seeks to consider the ways in which creative digital communities start, develop and grow, what is created within those groups and how real connections are built through technology sharing and eventually within the virtual environment of online discussion and dissemination. We welcome contributions from across the sector from traditional print media forms to film and television, and gaming and interactive technology, offering the opportunity to explore both applied and theoretical explorations of this area of communities within the digital world. We aim to publish a selection of these contributions in an edited collection developed as a result of the conference.
Topics of interest:
Real-world versus digital communities
Audio-visual communication practices
What is the future of communities?
Visibility and identity in communities
Local vs global communities
Sports, digital media and communities
Healthcare and community
Community inclusion and exclusion
Deadline for submissions is 18th December 2020. For more details on how to submit please see the Call for Papers.
Running naked is a feature film made in collaboration between private equity and Staffordshire University’s film production courses. The film has already screened at Beijing and Portland International Film festivals and is due for release in February 2021.
Running Naked is the story of two lifelong friends, pushed together through cancer. The story explores a period their life as one discovers the cancer has returned and their adventures as his illness unfolds.
The film was made in a unique way. The funding for the film came from private equity. This was combined with in-kind use of equipment, space, locations and crew from the University.
We, Andy Paton and Mike Knowles successfully combined a crew of industry professionals who mentored Staffordshire University students. The Crew included, Oscar nominated and Emmy winning director Victor Buhler. He directed Running Naked and Mike and Andy produced the film. The film’s score was composed by Craig Potter from Elbow
The film was all shot in and around the University in Stoke, utilising some of the buildings as locations and a production office, as well as many local businesses.
The cast start Andrew Gower(Carnival Row and Black Mirror) Tamzin Merchant(Carnival Row, Salem and Pride and Prejudice) Matthew Mcnulty (The Terror, Jamaica Inn and Deadwater Fell)
The project is an amazing example of how the University and private equity can be brought together to create a film that already has a distribution deal and international sales with an international release date in February 2021.
Watch this space for announcement of first screenings!