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Press release


  • 25 September 2007

Premiere for student film of Brighton's naughty past


What the film students saw: Taking a peek at naughty but nice Brighton

What the film students saw: Taking a peek at naughty but nice Brighton

A documentary history of Brighton's "dirty weekend" culture, made by four University of Sussex graduates, is to be shown at the London Raindance Festival.

It is the first time that a student film from Sussex has been screened at the festival, the biggest of its kind in the UK. The film, Kiss Me Quick: Brighton and the Dirty Weekend, is also the debut work of its four student creators - Stella Sims, Adriano Majocchi, Indira Maya Ganesh and Mahmoud Muna.

The 15-minute documentary was originally the final project for the students' MA course in video documentary in contemporary history last year. However, Stella decided to enter it for the Raindance Festival, which features the dramas, short films and documentaries of up-and-coming film-makers. The film was accepted as part of the festival in August, much to the students' surprise, and will be screened on October 3 in London's West End.

As part of their coursework, the students looked at video, documentary and contemporary history as sources of inspiration for their film. Stella says: "We finally came up with the idea of the dirty weekend, which has a very long history in Brighton, stretching back to King George IV. It's a recurring theme in popular culture and is closely associated with Brighton's image.

"Nowadays it's about fun and it's less furtive. It's just people escaping their everyday lives. But there was a time when people would 'stage' dirty weekends to get a divorce on the grounds of adultery."

The film features interviews with Sussex Senior Lecturers Andy Medhurst (Media and Film) and Dr Claire Langhamer (History), street interviews with visitors to Brighton, archive film footage from the Screen Archive South East at University of Brighton and photographic archive material from Brighton lesbian and gay history project Our Story. The film also includes a narrative strand drawn from papers from the 1949 research into sexual behaviour, held at the Mass Observation Archive, which is housed in the University of Sussex library. This final source draws on a fascinating account that chronicles a group of gay men visiting Brighton for the weekend at a time when homosexual behaviour was still illegal.

The film was also a truly international effort: Stella is from Southampton, Indira is from India, Adriano from Italy and Mahmoud from Palestine. They all hope to pursue work on media projects.

Stella, who wants to continue film-making while studying for a media DPhil, will be attending the premiere. She says: "This was the first film that we all made so it was quite a challenge. We had great support and advice from our lecturers and the University's Media Services Unit. So our thanks goes to lecturers Lizzie Thynne, Andy Medhurst and Claire Langhamer, and to Lee Gooding and the MSU staff for their help and use of equipment!"

The academic aspect of the degree course also helped the film to clinch a big-screen spot in the festival, believes Stella. "Our film has received compliments for being a really well-researched story, so I think our academic research skills played a large part in our success."

Kiss Me Quick: Brighton and the Dirty Weekend premieres at Cineworld, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, between 3pm and 4.30pm on Wednesday 3 October.

Notes for editors

Click here to watch the film

 

Details of the Raindance Festival can be found at: http://www.raindance.co.uk/site/

For details of media courses at University of Sussex, see media

 

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel 01273 678 888 or email press@sussex.ac.uk

 

 

Details of the Raindance Festival can be found at: http://www.raindance.co.uk/site/

For details of media courses at University of Sussex, see media

 

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel 01273 678 888 or email press@sussex.ac.uk

 

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