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Sussex success at Oscars

A University of Sussex alumna has won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work in the film Little Women.  

Jacqueline Durran graduated from Sussex with a BA Hons in Philosophy in 1988. She then went on to complete an MA at the Royal College of Art and has since worked on the costume design for many high profile and award-winning blockbuster films including Anna Karenina, Atonement and Beauty and the Beast.  

After winning an Oscar for the second time in her career to-date (first in 2012 for her work on Anna Karenina), Jacqueline thanked the cast, producer Amy Pascal and Greta Gerwig, writer and director of the film who she said was ‘an inspiration to all of us with her courage.’  

In her acceptance speech on stage, she also thanked her family for enabling her ‘to be a working mother’.  

The win comes just a week after Jacqueline was awarded a BAFTA, again for her work on Little Women, starring Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson.  

The University also celebrated another link to the presigious Hollywood awards this weekend.

Halldór Úlfarsson, a Music PhD student invented the eerie-sounding musical instrument that sets the tone for the Oscar-winning soundtrack to Joker, scored by Icelandic composer and cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir. 

Halldór invented the self-named halldorophone which looks like a robo-cello and produces a beautiful yet unsettling sound based on electronic feedback. 

He said: ““Hildur Guðnadóttir was the first musician-collaborator to take this project seriously and immediately liked the dynamics of the instrument. I love the fact that Hildur has continued to use the instrument as she has come into her strength as a composer. It's especially cool to see her put it to good use in high-profile projects such as Joker.” 

Hildur can be seen playing the halldorophone in this collaboration between her and Halldór

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By: Stephanie Allen
Last updated: Tuesday, 11 February 2020

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