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Around the world in 30 stories – Sussex student documentaries go on show in Brighton

The MA team: Media and Film MA students whose work features in the upcoming degree show Stories And Spaces

Work by tomorrow’s stars of the digital media industry will feature in the University of Sussex MA degree show for media and film – called Stories and Spaces – at Lighthouse in Brighton on Tuesday 4 September 2012.

The show (5pm to 11pm) will feature work by 30 postgraduate students completing courses in Digital Documentary, Journalism and Documentary Practice, Creative Media Practice and Digital Media.

The films, installations and digital presentations cover a wide and fascinating range of subjects, including: the lives of Hare Krishna devotees in Brighton; the illegal bird trade in India; the journey of a transgender man via surgery to a new life as a woman; and tributes to the diverse worlds of Frisbee, burlesque and the iconic Eagle Jaguar E-type car.

The student line-up includes:

  • Sam Franklyn: The MA Digital Documentary student’s film Community Spirit charts the friendships within two groups of Sussex-based ghost hunters – and the events of a night-time ghost hunt in the woods. Sam already has his own film company, Concrete Rose Productions.
  • Peter Harte: Former medical worker Peter gave up his career to follow his passion for media. His multimedia, interactive installation, entitled Mnemosyne,  enables visitors to two rooms to experience dementia as a physical condition (inside a simulated brain) and psychologically (as a newly-diagnosed dementia patient in a care home), with a real nurse on hand to “induct” the visitor into the care home;
  • Rachel Tavernor: Documentary maker Rachel combines a love of activism and crafts to show the subversive and restorative sides of needlework, as experienced by a political activist and a former prisoner in her film Stitched Stories.
  • Olimata Jeng: As a Norwegian child of Gambian parents, Olimata always had to explain to others ‘where she was from’. Television gave Olimata the opportunity to explore her own sense of identity, and her film The N(orwegian) Word provides the perfect opportunity to explore her personal heritage.
  • Nathaniel Torok: Canadian student Nathaniel’s travels in America’s Deep South are the inspiration for an atmospheric portrait of a forgotten community in Alabama entitled Down in the Quarter.

The evening will include the presentation of awards to students judged by filmmakers Daisy Asquith, Penny Woolcock and Marc Francis and the broadcaster, writer and University of Sussex Chair of Council Simon Fanshawe, who will be awarding memberships to filmmakers’ network Shooting People and internships at production companies back2back and Touch Productions.

Filmmaker Lizzie Thynne, who convenes the MA documentary course, says: "The MA in Digital Documentary has gone from strength to strength, attracting a diverse and talented group of students from around the world. This year’s students have created stimulating and revealing films and have worked tremendously hard – not only to produce their individual films but to present them in this final show.”

Participating student Yuan Tian, who has directed the film 30 Kilos of Corn says: “Documentary is the best way to know the world. The degree show will be a great opportunity to read the world from more than 20 films by young directors from the University of Sussex.”

Notes for Editors

Stories and Spaces is at Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, on Tuesday 4 September from 5pm-11pm.

The show is free and open to the public – just send an RSVP to

For details of the full programme and individual projects visit:

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2012