BA History of Art student wins the inaugural Cultural Institute Short Film Prize

BA History of Art student wins the inaugural Cultural Institute Short Film Prize

A film co-produced by BA History of Art student Hermione Oldham has won the first Cultural Institute Short Film Prize at the University of Leeds.

Student filmmaking crews and leading researchers from the University of Leeds recently came together to produce short films, covering the latest innovations in digital creativity and responding creatively to new research.

The films explored the power of new technologies, from capturing community memories to exploring what it is to grow older.

A screening of the shortlisted films took place at Leeds University Union on 24 April when the winning team was announced and presented with a £1,000 prize.

In first place was Virtual Holocaust Memory, produced by undergraduate students Hermione Oldham and Mia Frank. Their film was inspired by the technologies that allow us to engage with and preserve Holocaust memory.

Hermione Oldham is in her first year of study on the BA History of Art course in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Hermione was partnered with another finalist in her category, Mia Frank (a student in the School of Media and Communication), to make the film which considers how to maintain the memory of the Holocaust. They worked with Dr Matt Boswell, University Academic Fellow in the School of English, to produce a short film inspired by his research.

Hermione said:

“I was drawn to the topic of the Holocaust memory because the testimony of survivors provides important lessons to all future generations.

“The film I made is based around the story of one survivor, Susie Lind, which greatly affected me; all she has left of her family is a single handkerchief which was given to her by her mother as they said goodbye, and her memories. I felt it was important to keep alive her story and to ensure that it resonates today by expressing the memories in a moving and appropriate way.”

Professor Abigail Harrison Moore, Head of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, said:

“I am delighted that Hermione and Mia’s very moving film won this prize. As a School we have taught and been engaged in holocaust memory studies for many years, and it is wonderful to see one of our undergraduates translating her learning into this inspirational piece of film-making.

“Hermione’s work with a fellow student and a colleague from our Faculty also demonstrates the benefit of our undergraduates being able to work with staff and students from across the broad range of subject areas. This is an excellent example of the power of collaboration, enabled by the Cultural Institute.”

After the screening, there was a chance to hear from the filmmakers themselves and to find out more about the research projects they drew on to create the films. Col Needham, founder of IMDb and alumnus of the University of Leeds, judged the competition alongside Karen Emanuel, Managing Director of Key Production.

Digital Creativity is a major strand of the University of Leeds’ Culture research theme, facilitated by the Cultural Institute. This event was part of Leeds Digital Festival, a multi-venue, city-wide festival celebrating digital culture