Open City Docs School and UCL graduate announced as winner of One World Media Award for Best Student Film
12 June 2017
Open City Docs School is delighted to announce 2016 MA Ethnographic and Documentary Film graduate Minmin Wu as the winner of this year’s Student Award at the One World Media Awards for her graduation film Waste. She was presented with the award by Ben Zand – head of the jury for the Student Award - at the awards ceremony celebrating journalistic excellence in international media coverage of the developing world for the 29th year. Wu is the second Open City Docs School MA graduate to receive the award after Fernando González Mitjans’ win for his graduation film Limpiadores in 2016.
Her winning film, Waste, follows Yanin Ma, an 11-year-old girl living with leukaemia in China. Having spent the last month undergoing chemotherapy in Guangzhou City, she now wants only to go home. But Yanin’s hometown in Shantou is one of the most heavily polluted cities in the world and some believe this could be a cause of her illness.
Minmin Wu was one of 25 who formed the second cohort of Masters students in UCL’s new MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film. Her film exemplifies the kind of work the MA’s tutors set out to encourage - rooted in the research culture of a great university but made in the highly personal voice and cinematic vision of the film maker.
Hosted this year by Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy, the prestigious One World Media Awards took place at BAFTA and saw some of the world’s finest journalists, reporters and filmmakers - past, present and future - gather to celebrate the industry’s achievements.
Focused on highlighting the vital role journalists and filmmakers have in increasing cultural understanding and supporting equality and justice worldwide, the One World Media Awards have set an industry gold standard for media professionals reporting in, on and from the developing world, throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the post-Soviet states.
Minmin Wu said: “I want to thank UCL, Open City Docs School, my tutors and my friends who helped me make this film. I made this film not just because I wanted to raise attention to environmental pollution in China but also because I had similar experiences to what the characters go through in my film. I wanted to share their feelings and story with a wider audience."
Richard Alwyn, Open City Docs School MA mentor, said: "I'm delighted Minmin's film has been recognised. Its quiet strength and purpose is a testament to her integrity as a filmmaker who wants to reveal the world as she finds it. I hope the award brings her opportunities to develop still further into a documentary maker with a truly distinctive voice".
Michael Stewart, founder of Open City Docs and MA course leader, said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled that for the second year in a row a student on the UCL MA Ethnographic and Documentary Film has won this prize. It is a testament not just to the talent of our students and the fine work carried out by their mentors - but also to the way a film programme inside a great research university takes on a distinctive and creative profile.’
Open City Docs School at UCL has been running courses covering documentary filmmaking from all angles since February 2014. Its MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film was established in September 2014 and is a unique programme based at a global university and run by leading film practitioners ensuring students not only receive the highest-quality practise-based learning but do so in a university environment. The programme is expanding fast - with pathways in cinematic non-fiction and Reportage based Documentary (Broadcaset oriented). From October 2017 the MA is also offering dedicated training in storytelling for Immersive platforms like VR. Open City Docs also runs the annual Open City Documentary Festival which will return for its 7th edition from 5-10 September this year.
One World Media is a non-profit organisation that supports international journalism and promotes media coverage of global issues. For nearly three decades, they have been working with partners in the UK and internationally to enable media that informs and connects the world’s people. One World Media’s mission is to support strong vibrant and independent media that empowers citizens, promotes justice and contributes to international development.
For further press information, images and interview requests please contact Alexander Karotsch at Open City Docs, alex@opencitylondon, 020 7679 3695