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Crossing the Bridge

Crossing the Bridge

Published on: 7 July 2021

Virtual festival showcases final year student documentaries

New challenges

Thought-provoking short documentaries made by Newcastle University students are to be shown online as part of a two day festival.

The topics of the nine films to be screened at Crossing the Bridge, include a filmmakers’ introduction to Ramadan, the stories of three Chinese middle school students and live music in the North East.

The pandemic posed new challenges to the film students, with some having to completely rethink their projects and in some cases come up with new concepts for their work.

Student producer, James Bruce, is a production manager for the event. He says that Crossing the Bridge gives them a wonderful opportunity to present their short documentary films exhibiting a vast range of themes.

“Over the past year, we have researched, planned and executed these films in unique circumstances, forcing us to blend and form stories around these obstacles, and it brings us great joy to say that we have all found success in this. This student created and curated show presents nine films from the U.K. and China which explore topics that vary from our spiritual haunts of our past, to the perpetual trials of our present and our newly-developing digital demons of tomorrow's world.”

A still from 'A Hauntological Lens'

Fantastic content

The films are the culmination of three years of hard work by undergraduates on the BA Film and Media, and BA Film Practices courses.

Fellow production manager student Katharine Beavers said: “We’ve produced Crossing the Bridge in a way that means it takes place entirely online. We wanted to allow students from anywhere in the world to join, and we’re really excited for the live interactive Q & As throughout the showcase that gives us an opportunity to hear the filmmaker’s thoughts and filming process.

“Producing for this Final Year Show feels like such a lovely way to end the year. It’s been great to work with the writers, graphic designers, curators, editors and presenter for the show, as well as the help we’ve received from staff. They’re such a dedicated group of students, and they’ve produced some fantastic content towards Crossing the Bridge.”

Degree Programme Director Dr Ian McDonald said: “This year, our students started their films under the cloud of Covid-19, not knowing whether they would be able to make the documentary they really wanted to make, or whether the situation would worsen. In the event, the clouds darkened.

Crossing the Bridge is the collective result of their efforts: a wonderful showcase of documentaries that draw on diverse styles, forms and aesthetics to take us into different worlds and make us think, reflect, chuckle, cry, and most of all, feel enriched and energised by the viewing experience.

“Our students have demonstrated they have resilience, resourcefulness, creativity and the willingness to work hard that will stand them in good stead in whatever direction they now choose to travel.”

A still from 'Under the Influence'

Crossing the Bridge is being hosted in collaboration with the Star and Shadow Cinema and will also feature Q&A session with the filmmakers on the Crossing the Bridge Facebook Page.

The event is free and the films will be screened between 1pm and 3.45pm on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th July on the Star and Shadow website.

The filmmakers’ Q&As will take place on the Crossing The Bridge Facebook page 

The programme is available here.


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