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    On the big screen: Middlesex students’ work showcased at the BFI

    The British Film Institute (BFI), home of the British film industry on London’s South Bank, hosted Middlesex University’s annual Film and Television Graduation Show last night (29 June) with a selection of final-year work created by BA Film and BA Television Production students presented to a packed auditorium.

    Films created by Middlesex producers and directors were given their screen premiere to a receptive invited audience, which included students involved in the films in a variety of capacities such as cinematographers, actors and editors alongside industry professionals.

    David Heinemann, Programme Leader for BA Film at Middlesex University said: “A wide range of topical, challenging and entertaining work was screened, from documentaries about transgender and the terrorist shooting in Oslo, to dramas exploring mental illness, religious transgression, and the plight of a Jewish Nazi in WWII.

    “This is the second year of our collaboration with the BFI. The choice of the venue is down to its peerless screening facilities, its central location, and the fact that is represents the spiritual heart of UK film and television as evidenced in its programming, its archive and its educational outreach.”

    One of the works shown was the art of my scars, a documentary directed by BA Film student James Land providing an introspective look into the life of transgender man, Kay Jane Browning, chronicling his transition through his relationship with the art forms he has used to express himself throughout.

    Speaking about his time at Middlesex, James Land said: “I've loved every second of the BA Film course and feel a sense of melancholy about its climax.

    “I came to Middlesex with the intention of learning my trade as a screenwriter or a film critic. Towards the end of the first year I fell into Directing and I haven't looked back since. I’ve directed music videos, adverts and short films and worked as cinematographer of two third year films this year.

    “I like cerebral and artistic takes on common social realist stories. I firmly believe that every life is worthy of a million dramas and am fascinated by meeting new and interesting characters in life that have stories to tell.”

    Three awards were given out on the night with the audience award going to the art of my scars which was directed by James Land and produced by Emily Mitchell.

    The BA Film jury prize was won by Sabina which was directed by Patricia Musakanya and produced by Hannah McInally. The BA Television Production jury prize was won by Papilio which was directed by Mehdi Mollai and produced by Khulood Alansi.

    Basil Glynn, Programme Leader for BA Television Production at Middlesex University said: “The end of year show is an ideal setting to showcase the very high quality work of our final year BA Television Production degree students. Our students are multi-skilled and industry ready by the time they graduate and the outstanding technical standards and wonderful creativity displayed by the productions this evening underline this fact.

    “Many of the final year students showing their work are already working in television and their reputation is going from strength to strength. Earlier in the year Commissioning Editors at the BBC praised the professionalism and know-how of our third year students when they pitched their ideas and the standard of productions being screened at this show prove that they were right.

    “As well as student employability, another real strength of the Television Production degree is the great diversity of its student cohort. The television industry is crying out for more diversity with the clock moving backwards as the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic personnel working in the industry declines year on year.

    “Our Television Production students are the very people the television industry desperately needs if it’s going to be in any way reflective or representative of the audience it’s serving. I sincerely believe our students will go on to have fantastic careers and we’ll be watching their work for years to come.”

    The BA Television Production course focuses on areas such as idea development, writing, directing, producing and researching as well as specialist TV studio roles including Floor Manager, Gallery Production Assistant and Studio Director. Students are given the opportunity to further specialise in the specific production roles aligned to their individual talents and passions.

    Speaking about her camera work being showcased at the home of the British Film Industry, BA Television Production student, Karina Stefamisina from Latvia said: “I’m very proud to be here, the University has given me a lot of opportunities and support. It’s really helped and we have created a great film.”

    The BA Film course at Middlesex University sees students gaining hands on experience of the industry from day one, with digital filmmaking workshops and short film production in response to briefs throughout the course. Practical and theoretical problems are tackled through briefs, essays, and individual and group activities. Through attendance at workshops, seminars, tutorials and lectures, some with industry professionals, students learn to analyse their own work and that of others.

    Both programmes enjoy being based in London, the hub of this fast paced industry.

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