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.”

Dr David McQueen on the current conflicts in Cairo

Bournemouth University’s lecturer in Politics and Media, and expert in global conflict, Dr David McQueen featured on Steve Harris’ Drivetime show on BBC Radio Solent giving his opinion on the current conflict and civil unrest in Egypt.

“I think that this is a tragic short lived experiment of democracy, I don’t think it had to turn out this way and there were many missed opportunities for resolution within the brotherhood and the government” Dr McQueen explained.

The discussion continued with Barrack Obama condemning on the violence; “I think the US government could’ve played a part by saying if there was any army coo they could help the Egyptian army out”.

“The US Army fund the Egyptian army One Billion Dollars a year”

Dr McQueen relates the public reaction of what is happening now in Egypt to the 1972 Bloody Sunday reactions.

“When we look at thousands of deaths of armed protestors, I just see very dark days ahead for Egypt”.

Dean Eastmond

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

Who Cares? BU students do!


Students from Bournemouth University have staged a topical comedy panel show to try and get young people interested in politics.

The Who Cares? show was organised by first year students on the BA (Hons) Politics and Media course, and featured up-and-coming comedians Chris Turner and James Loveridge alongside a student host and panellists.

It was filmed in front of a live audience of around 100 people on Talbot Campus and featured rounds where panellists had to decide whether headlines were real or fake, and had 15 seconds to come up with solutions to problems like binge drinking and the North Korean nuclear threat.

The aim of the show was to present politics in a more accessible and exciting way to increase interest and engagement in 18-25 year olds.

“The brief was to put on an event that appealed to younger people and we could do whatever we wanted from that,” said Robbie Gavin, who was one of the team captains for Who Cares?

“We ended up with a comedy show as we thought it would engage people who might not normally be interested in politics or think politics is that funny.”

Robbie, 18, who is in the first year of the BA (Hons) Politics and Media course, added that he felt they had learnt a lot through organising the show.

“I think that we have learnt how to work as a team very well,” he said.

“We did a lot of things that might not have done before – like producing, getting the set together and making contacts. It was a really good life experience.”

Award-winning comedian James Loveridge said he was happy to get involved with the project.

“The students got in touch and I thought it sounded like a really fun project, and something really different.

“You can tell that they have worked really hard on it. I had an amazing time.”

The panel show was filmed for a DVD and the students will be assessed on the project for the Experiencing Politics unit of their course.

BA (Hons) Politics and Media Course Leader Dr David McQueen said: “The unit is about looking at links to everyday life and the ways in which people are turned off politics.

“Something like this is a way of connecting and it shows that people are more interested in politics than they even know.”

He added: “I’m really proud of what they have done. It had a level of professionalism you’d expect from final year or Master’s students and they have utilised the resources of the Media School.

“All of the first year students were involved in different aspects of it and had to work as a team. They have picked up so many skills, like problem-solving, and worked really hard through the holidays to make sure it was the success it was.

“I hope they will look back on it and be really proud.”

Dr David McQueen talks about class on BBC Radio Solent

BU Politics and Media course leader Dr David McQueen was on BBC Radio Solent talking about class, and how people define what class they are in.

He spoke about the issue on Alex Dyke’s mid-morning show, following a survey which showed that people without an above average salary identified themselves as middle-class.

“The fact is that survey has generated a lot of interest, I think because the British are obsessed with class, basically,” he said.

“I think there’s a mirror image of America, which denies there’s a class system, I think we obsess on the tiny details of class.”

He added: “I think people used to be more comfortable in their class – I think if you go back to 1966, what’s interesting is that only a third of people identified themselves as middle-class. That’s now leapt up to 50 per cent according to this survey, and other surveys have shown it to be up to 70 per cent.

“So I think there’s a real anxiety about representing yourself as working class.”

But he said that the results may be skewed as people have to tick a box identifying themselves as one or the other.

“I think that most people feel uncomfortable with either of those definitions – there’s parts of their identities which don’t fit in with either.

“But what’s also interesting is that the family background continues to be important; if you are born into a family which has money, that you are likely to inherit the wealth and values of that family, and I think that’s come across in this survey – that they value education, that they think the type of home they live in is important, and their income as being important.”

He added that, increasingly, social mobility was being stifled and it was becoming more difficult for people to change the class that they are in.

“I think the real issues here is that people’s salaries are falling, and that people want to identify themselves as not being poor, and as not working class, when actually, by objective standards, they are.”

You can listen to the full interview here