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Students showcase short films at BU film festival

Surreal dream worlds, a World War 1 drama and documentaries about everything from nightclubs in churches to days of the week.

This was just some of the work on show at the BU Student Short Film Festival.

The Festival, conceived by lecturer Dr David McQueen and organised by students from the MA Media Production framework, showcased short films created by BU students.

Around 20 short films – from both undergraduate and postgraduate students – were shown during the Festival, with winners decided by an audience vote.

The annual Festival is now in its third year, and received a record-breaking number of submissions.

“We’ve had more entries than ever and there have been some really exceptional films,” said David, who is Programme Leader for the Narrative Constructions unit on the MA Media Production framework.

“The quality has been really high and there was an interesting mix of films, with really powerful and compelling stories.

“I’ve been really struck by the quality of cinematography. Some of the films wouldn’t look out of place in a multi-million pound production.”

MA Cinematography student Clemens Majunke won 1st prize with his film Dream Works, a drama where a couple wake up in a bedroom, with no idea how they got there – unsure if they are awake or dreaming.

“It feels good to win, but it’s a total surprise because there were some other really good films shown,” said Clemens, who received a trophy, framed poster and film documentary box set for winning the competition.

“It was great to have the chance to show it and get feedback from the others.”

Ramon Blanquer, a BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation student, came second with his film Self Seeker, a drama inspired by the work of philosopher Nietzche.

The 3rd place prize went to MA Directing Film and TV student Antonios Vallindras for his documentary Sundness, which explored people’s feelings and opinions about Sunday.

He said: “It’s nice to share your work and you can find future collaborations that can be good for your future. To get that feedback as well is so important.”

David added that holding the film festival had numerous benefits for the students involved.

“Lots of different film-makers have the chance to see each other’s work, and I think it’s valuable for people to be able to say that they have entered or won a film competition.

“They are able to screen films in a supportive environment among peers, where there is not as much pressure or anxiety as there might be otherwise.”

New Media Writing Prize taking place at BU

The winners of an international competition which recognises innovative and interactive storytelling will be revealed at a Bournemouth University (BU) awards ceremony.

The New Media Writing Prize showcases storytelling designed to be accessed through new media devices – with entries comprising anything from poems, films or computer animation, with audience interaction.

Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at BU on the evening of Wednesday 21 January, which is free to attend and open to all.

This year’s competition received more than 100 entries from around the world, with shortlisted entries from the likes of the USA, Australia and Egypt.

Dr James Pope, BA English Framework Leader at BU and competition director for the New Media Writing Prize, said: “Our fifth anniversary has seen the largest numbers of entries and the most fascinating range of styles and approaches to new-media storytelling.

“The judges will have a hard time deciding on the winners, but whatever the outcome, this competition showcases and celebrates the best in digital writing worldwide.”

The winner of the New Media Writing Prize will receive £1,000, donated by if:book UK.

There is also a student category, with the winner receiving a 3-month paid internship with Bournemouth-based e-learning company Unicorn Training, worth £3,000.

The awards ceremony will take place at Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus and is free to attend.

It runs from 6pm and will also feature talks from leading names in the new media industry, writer and founder of if:book UK Chris Reade and artist-researcher Maria Mencia.

There will be drinks, nibbles and the chance to network after the event.

Find out more and book free tickets for the awards ceremony

Event marks Black History Month

Bournemouth and the broader Dorset and Poole African & Caribbean community representatives came together for an event to celebrate Black History Month.

The event programme raised awareness of the history of the struggle of the UK’s black community in gaining proper recognition of its important contribution to the nation, as well as highlighting the reality that in too many cases discrimination still exists, including promotional opportunities in the workplace.

The keynote speaker, Mike Franklin, the UK’s first Independent Police Complaints Commissioner, and Bournemouth Borough Council’s Equality & Diversity Manager, Sam Johnson, highlighted these points to the audience that included the Mayors of Bournemouth and Dorchester, the Chief Executive Officer of Bournemouth Borough Council, Bournemouth business community representatives, officers of Poole Borough Council, Dorset County Council, NHS and representatives from a wide range of the broader international community.

A presentation was made of a film initiative, ‘All Different, All Dorset’, that is a result of collaboration of Bournemouth University’s Equality and Diversity Adviser, Dr James Palfreman-Kay, with the Dorset area BME community.

The event, on 29 October, continued with the announcement of a new Dorset Equality & Diversity Workplace Best Practice Annual awards, initiated by Alan Mercel-Sanca (Dorset Race Equality Council’s Organisation Development & Education Officer) that will highlight organisations and businesses that are striving to support equality and diversity in the workplace.

The awards were given the support of Councillor Lawrence Williams (Bournemouth Borough Council Equality Portfolio Holder) and the first awards ceremony will take place in June 2015.

The last item of the programme featured the presentation of certificates for outstanding achievements to a number of figures from the local Black, African & Caribbean Community – ranging from a GB Team European Games athlete (Tia Leoni Rose Wootten) to the UK’s Number One Black Motivational speaker (Bernadette Raggett). The certificates were presented by Bournemouth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney, and Tony Williams, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Chief Executive Officer.

There was a diverse range of high quality African & Caribbean cuisine served at the event, produced by BU’s caterers Chartwells who had worked closely over a number of weeks with Mrs Marion Mwenda, a veteran African & Caribbean cuisine chef from the local community, to deliver this special feature of the evening.

VIDEO: TalkBU Live – Shoeless and Sausages

Professor Stephen Heppell’s talk Shoeless and Sausages: Making Learning Better was the first in the Talk BU Live series.

It received a great reception from the audience in Dylan’s Bar, with entertaining insights and ideas around incorporating technology into learning.

The talk provided an insight into what the future has to offer the world of education and how children can benefit when educators keep up with the ever-evolving worlds of education and technology,

Speaking about his Talk BU experience, Stephen said: “For me, watching everyone’s faces as we dashed playfully from the design of school toilets and chairs, to levels of light and CO2, it was rather like watching the sun come out.

“A roomful of smiling faces, lit up by BU research, felt pretty good!”

TalkBU Live is a monthly, on-campus event at Dylan’s Bar featuring a short talk by BU staff or students, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

The event aims to get staff and students thinking and talking about topics beyond their degree subjects and schools, with talks on a wide variety of different subjects.


Jack the Caring Canine in The Guardian Education

BU’s very own Caring Canine, Jack, was featured in a Guardian Education article discussing the efforts made by universities to help students with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) smoothly enter university life.

Jack’s owner Carolyn Atherton, an Additional Learning Support tutor for BU, has integrated Jack into her work with an aim to help students build their interpersonal skills.

She told the Guardian: “With a dog, because they are non-judgemental, they’re able to make a relationship more easily.”

Jack has already made a difference to a number of students, as Carolyn explained in the article: “We had a student who was terribly nervous about doing his presentation, so I got him to do it to Jack, and he just gained in confidence.”

Jack’s success is forming the foundations of a BU research project that will study the positive effects of animal-assisted learning.

Read The Guardian article in full

By Charlotte Cranny-Evans

Charlotte is a graduate of Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Dr Sarah Bate on prosopagnosia in the workplace for Harvard Business Review

Dr Sarah Bate, lead researcher in the Centre for Face Processing Disorders at Bournemouth University, has written an article for Harvard Business Review, discussing how prosopagnosia can affect people in the workplace.

More commonly known as face-blindness, prosopagnosia is a cognitive condition that is characterised by the inability to recognise the faces of familiar people.

It is thought to affect around 1 in 50 people – meaning 2 per cent of the workforce are likely to have some form of face blindness.

However, people with the condition often experience embarrassment and anxiety due to low public awareness, with some workplaces causing particular challenges.

People with Prosopagnosia “may struggle to recognize colleagues when encountered in an unexpected or generic location, such as at the coffee machine,” Sarah explained in the article.

She added: “Difficulties are exacerbated in occupations where there are fewer non-facial cues to recognition. Think, for example, of workplaces where uniforms are worn.

“For that matter, men’s business suits offer few distinguishing characteristics to aid person recognition.”

Situations without prearranged seating, such as meetings and hot desks, can also cause difficulty for an individual as location does not hint at a person’s identity.

Sarah stated that, although there has not yet been much research directly focused on the effects of face-blindness in the workplace, one study concludes that “the occupational difficulties are potentially as great as those posed by stuttering and dyslexia”.

But many workers with prosopagnosia choose not to reveal their condition, often fearing that low managerial and public awareness would act against them, or that they would be unable to receive support.

Sarah indicated several measures that can be implemented to assist face-blind colleagues in the workplace, such as portable name plates for workspaces and meetings, and a secondary staff member to assist with client identifications.

She said: “Regardless of the setting, a face blind person should feel able to disclose his or her condition to an employer.

“There can then be a carefully considered decision about how widely to share this information – and, regardless of disclosure, certain measures can be taken to assist the individual.”

Read the Harvard Business Review article in full

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Professor Vanora Hundley’s clean birth kit research in New York Times

The work of BU Midwifery Professor Vanora Hundley has been featured in a New York Times article, looking at how ‘frugal innovation’ can support the world’s poorest people.

Hundley has conducted extensive research into clean birth kits: moderately inexpensive supply kits designed to prevent the deaths of women from avoidable causes in pregnancy and childbirth, such as an unsterile environment, in the developing world.

Approximately eight hundred women die daily from these preventable circumstances. Kits provide the basic equipment needed for a safe, sterile delivery, including plastic sheeting to cover a dirt floor and soap for washing hands.

Hundley said: “There is a tendency for kits to be made in high-income countries with good intentions, to be distributed as a charitable exercise.”

However, charitable intentions have not always resulted in effectiveness, especially when the designer is not aware of the customs of the recipient, as Hundley recalled a midwife disposing of an entire, unused clean birthing kit because it contained an image of a woman delivering in a horizontal position, while women in southern Africa stand during delivery.

Clean birth kits that accommodate the recipient’s culture are used much more successfully.

Frugal innovation, the process of designing products to meet the specific needs of the world’s poorest people, is gaining popularity.

Designers aim to produce an inexpensive, lightweight and durable product made of sustainable and local materials that does more with less and meets the specific demands of the people.

Read the New York Times article in full.

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.


BU’s Stephen Jukes talks about James Foley execution on BBC Radio Solent

When asked by BBC Radio Solent presenter Louisa Hannan about his thoughts upon hearing of the apparent execution of James Foley, BU’s Stephen Jukes replied: “Shocking, horrific, terrible… but sadly no longer a surprise.”

James Foley was a freelance journalist who became a captive of the IS organisation in Iraq. A video of his execution was uploaded to YouTube on 19 August 2014, which made international headlines.

A former foreign correspondent and media executive with Reuters, Jukes was interviewed about the execution and the dangers facing journalists in war zones.

Juke, who is now Dean of BU’s Media School, reflected on the change in journalism since 9/11, stating that journalism was safer prior to the attacks.

He said: “There was a time, a sort of golden age, when the journalist was neutral; a detached observer and probably almost untouchable. The word ‘press’ was also in a sense a sort of badge of security.”

In the past thirteen years though, journalists have become targets, he added. Journalists working with large organisations receive better protection, with specific training for hostile environments, including how to avoid kidnapping and being shot, as well as emotional support for any trauma they may face.

However, Jukes highlighted the lack of support and protection for freelance and local journalists in war zones. In areas too dangerous for foreign correspondents, news organisations increasingly rely on local journalists. A large number of journalists killed in Syria have been Syrians.

He said: “In a sense you’ve got this hierarchy of the foreign correspondent with all the protection and support, you’ve got the freelancer who may well be a Westerner, who goes in, has limited support, probably with some form of insurance and then you have the locals, who have nothing.”

Jukes believes it’s up to the news organisations and charities to provide support and protection to freelance and local journalists.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict alone, some claim that more than a hundred journalists have been killed. Terror organisations have used the murders of these journalists, recording their killings in order to spread their message.

Jukes provided a defence for the difficult decision of some news outlets in deciding to show the recording of Foley’s murder. He said: “If you don’t show the video the kidnappers will say ‘well, we’ll kill him’. If you do show the video, there’s no more publicity element left for the kidnappers, so they’ll kill him. Effectively, whatever you do, you’ll be wrong.”

However, he also added that he personally did not think that news outlets should give the terror organisations the publicity by showing the video, as it was readily available online. Jukes cited terror organisations’ use of social media as key in their campaign of violence

“What’s happened is those organisations, those terror organisations, whether they be ISIS or Al-Qaeda in a previous guise, they are really using social media. They’re doing what we do every day in getting their message out. They’re using the new tools of social media.”

However, Jukes does not think that the latest show of violence will deter journalists or those hoping to take up the career. He said: “I don’t think journalists or want-to-be-journalists are going to stop doing it. That’s what we do and we need to tell stories and that’s what we want to do.

“We want to hold a light up to truth and uncover what’s going on and get behind the scenes… The problem is it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.

Listen to the interview in full (starts 35 minutes into the programme, which is available for 30 days)

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

BU media success over Clearing 2014

Staff and students from Bournemouth University gave advice and information in a variety of media appearances around Clearing.

BU was featured by several national newspapers, including mentions in:

  • The Guardian newspaper and online five times.
  • The Telegraph newspaper and online five times.
  • The i newspaper four times.
  • The Independent

Interviews with BU’s Head of Admissions Karen Pichlmann – who gave top tips and advice for anyone going through Clearing – were also featured on several regional radio stations.

David Stock, SUBU Advice manager, was interviewed in The Telegraph’s article ‘Strike a healthy bank balance’. He advised parents on how to help their children with their finances..

He said: “It’s best to set the foundations from a young age by getting them used to bank cards and budgets. Once they’re at university, they won’t have anyone nagging them to stick to their weekly budget, so instilling a good attitude beforehand is vital.”

Nicola Murray-Fagan, Head of UK Student Recruitment & Outreach, was quoted throughout The i’s article about how students should prepare for results day.

She advised: “Take the time to research your options and speak to your school or college careers adviser for advice on courses that will still keep you on the same career path.”

askBU’s Helen Elsey and UK Recuitment Manager Matthew Usher gave advice in The Guardian and The Telegraph on what students should say while making Clearing phone calls, while BU students and alumni shared their experiences of the Clearing and Adjustment process.

BU student Alex Curwen-Reed was quoted in The i, giving her tips on the Clearing process.

She spoke about how helpful the askBU team was during her Clearing process and said: “Don’t feel embarrassed about having to come through Clearing. I’m getting better grades than some of the people who got accepted in the first place, so don’t doubt yourself!”

Other articles featuring BU focused on applying for postgraduate courses, with advice from Framework Leader for Postgraduate Accounting, Finance and Economics Dermot McCarthy, and making the most of placement opportunities.

Placement Development Adviser Felicity Robinson said in The Guardian’s article: “I’d advise students to do their own objective setting, so they’re not saying ‘help, give me something to do,’ but being more collaborative in the process.”

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.



BU team to deliver finance seminars after winning ESRC bid

A team from Bournemouth University has won a research bid to provide seminars addressing access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The seminars will bring together keynote speakers from academia, government agencies and industry in order to discuss the most pertinent issues of SME finance and of credit risk, with a view to develop new research and policy agendas relevant to lenders and regulators.

The Access to Finance for SMEs workshops will be delivered after a successful bid to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s leading research and training agency addressing economic and social concerns.

Lending to SMEs is at the top of the agenda for governments around the world. With various political and economic incentives introduced to support SMEs, it is important not to overlook the practicalities of institutional arrangements for access to finance, especially in the environment of prudent lending.

The project team consists of BU’s Professor Jens Hölscher (Principal Investigator), and Co-Investigators Professor Andrew Mullineux and Professor Dean Patton, with colleagues from the University of Brighton, Aston University and the University of Nottingham.

In addition, the project team will collaborate with Professor Andreas Horsch and his colleagues from the Technical University of Freiberg in Germany, who will contribute on access to finance from Germany.