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Media Arts student chosen for the Stranger Academy

Posted on 20/10/2009
Victoria Ijeh-Okusanya, a second year student from the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, was selected to participate in the prestigious Stranger Academy, which took place in Amsterdam from 13 to 17 October.

The Stranger Academy, a core project of the European Cultural Foundation, combines an opportunity for networking and improving on video and storytelling skills with a competitive film festival. Over 150 young filmmakers between the ages of 15 and 25 are given the chance to take part in workshops and master-classes, meet professionals and show their work to a broad audience.

Victoria’s documentary ‘Sickle Cell’, which she made whilst studying at Royal Holloway, is an insightful film about sickle-cell anaemia in the Afro-Caribbean population in Britain. The film will be competing in the documentary section of the Stranger Festival, facing tough competition from young filmmakers across Europe.

Victoria has also been selected as one of five winners of the ‘BBC Blast’ bursary, fighting off competition from thousands of other applicants across the UK. Upon returning, Victoria said: “I was really excited about the chance to go to Amsterdam to meet and learn from other young filmmakers. It was a fantastic experience to be part of the Stranger Academy this year. Meeting film makers from all over Europe has really inspired me to make more short documentaries and films.”

The event is part of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009, which has a range of prestigious partners – including the BBC, Franco-German television network Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne (ARTE), The Tate and the British Film Institute (BFI).

Professor Jonathan Powell, Head of Department of Media Arts, commented, “We are immensely proud of Victoria, who typifies the hard work, determination and talent of students at Royal Holloway. We hope she has enjoyed what must have been an extremely rewarding couple of days in Amsterdam.”


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