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2016 Winners

Select a category from the quick links below to find out more.

Best Research Film of the Year
Doctoral Award or Early Career Film
The Utopia Award: Imagining our Future
Innovation Award
Inspiration Award


Best Research Film of the Year

This category recognises the best film produced by a researcher or research team in the last year which showcases the value of arts and humanities research.

The Judges:

  • Jan Dalley (Arts Editor of the Financial Times)
  • Danny Leigh (Writer and Broadcaster)
  • Professor Tom Inns (Glasgow School of Art)
  • Joanna Callaghan (University of Sussex)*

Winning film by Pollyanna Ruiz, University of Sussex

'You Can't Move History' from Engaging Youth in Heritage on Vimeo.

You Can’t Move History was inspired by Long Live South Bank’s successful campaign to save the Undercroft at South Bank, one of the best-loved skate spots in the UK. It was produced as part of an academic research project which drew upon the experiences of skaters to better understand how young people felt about the urban spaces they occupied. The project also explored the ways in which the skate community articulated those feelings to the wider public. The longstanding connection between skating and filming enabled this collaborative project to produce a film which takes the non-skating viewer to the heart of the Undercroft experience.
 

Winner’s interview

“The aim was to make a film that gave the skaters a space to express themselves, either through words, images or digitally, and take them to an audience that they wouldn’t normally have access to,” explained Dr Pollyanna Ruiz. Read the rest of the interview about this award-winning film.

The judges said:  “An innovative, clever journey through heritage, youth perspective and architecture.”

The Shortlist

Due to a conflict of interest, Judge Joanna Callaghan, University of Sussex did not watch or judge the film, ‘You Can’t Move History’.

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The Doctoral Award


This award celebrates the best films made by an AHRC/AHRB-funded doctoral student, which exemplify excellence in the dissemination of research findings as well as the importance of research in the arts and humanities.

The Judges:

  • Steve Evanson (TV Producer)
  • Professor Mark Jancovich (University of East Anglia)

Winning film by Kieran Baxter, University of Dundee

The Caterthuns from Kieran Baxter on Vimeo.

The Caterthuns are the site of two prehistoric hillforts perched on the periphery of the Grampian Mountains in Angus, Scotland. To climb these monuments is the best way to experience a landscape shaped by thousands of years of changing culture, and yet to witness the full complexity and scale of the hillforts requires a view from the air. The film The Caterthuns was produced during Kieran’s PhD research, which explored how aerial photography and creative visualisation technologies could be used to connect the archaeological interpretation of ancient monuments with the surrounding evocative landscapes.

Winner’s interview

Find out more about this majestic study of two prehistoric hillforts by director Kieran Baxter in this winner’s interview.

The judges said: “Of a high standard technically, as well as telling a story that is informative and emotional”.

The Shortlist

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The Utopia Award: Imagining our Future

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, which presents an imaginative and playful vision of the world as it could be at a time of great change, judges were looking for imaginative films which use arts and humanities research as a basis to explore the future.

The Judges:

  • Matthew Reisz (Times Higher Education)
  • Professor Rajinder Dudrah (University of Birmingham)

Winning film by Amanda Ravetz, Manchester Metropolitan University

Wonderland 17 minute version from Amanda Ravetz on Vimeo.

Wonderland: the art of becoming human was made as part of a research project about the utopianism of recovery - the idea that recovery requires the daily renewal of hope. It documents artist Cristina Nuñez's use of self-portraiture with a group of people in longer term recovery and captures their ambitions to 'feel and be felt by other feeling people'.

Winner’s interview

Read the interview about the award-wining film Wonderland, which cleverly sets out to inject the audience directly into the creative process.

The judges said: “The film was powerful and thought evoking as well as dark, enlightening and utopian in mixed measures.”

The Shortlist

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Innovation Award

The Innovation Award celebrates those who have pushed the boundaries of creativity and research, while adopting innovative techniques and new approaches to storytelling in film.

The Judges:

  • Anthony Lilley (CEO, Magic Lantern Productions)
  • Dr Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex)
  • Professor Stella Bruzzi (University of Warwick)

Winning film by Sue Sudbury, Bournemouth University

Village Tales from Sue Sudbury on Vimeo.

Village Tales is about a group of young women who are being trained as video reporters, as part of a local government initiative to give women a voice. As child brides themselves, they choose to make their first film about the problems of child marriage, a continuing practice in their villages. Village Tales follows these women as they make their film, but also asks four of them to turn their cameras on their everyday lives, giving us an unprecedented view of life as it is lived today in many Indian villages. They film their husbands, questioning them from behind the camera and for the first time speak out about their lives.

Winner’s interview

Read the interview with Sue Sudbury (Bournemouth University) who talks about how the process of filming helped to give these four women a unique platform to share their stories.

The judges said: “A significant achievement”. “It sheds light on an important topic.”

The Shortlist

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Inspiration Award

The only category open to members of the public. The Inspiration Award is dedicated to showcasing the best research which has been inspired by arts and humanities research.

The Judges:

  • Jan Dalley (Arts Editor of the Financial Times)
  • Professor Lucy Mazdon (University of Southampton)

Winning film by Max Thurlow

AWA: Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen tells the story of up-and-coming starlet Awa preparing to perform at her country’s biggest hip hop festival Shoko, in the capital Harare. Despite coming from one of the poorest ghettos in Zimbabwe, and faced with numerous personal and professional problems, is Awa’s innate positivity and charisma enough to help her succeed?

Winner’s interview

“When I'm dressed to do this I feel powerful, like superman in his costume. I'm Superwoman. I feel like I can save the world and fly.” Read the interview with Awa and filmmaker Max Thurlow.

The judges said: “This film was engrossing and enjoyable.”, “It was stylish and imaginative.”

The Shortlist

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