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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Film Practice Research Fellowships

The QMUL Film Practice Research Fellowship Scheme supports early and mid-career filmmakers by making available valuable production resources and studio spaces, along with peer support, mentoring and guidance. The scheme is typically run by invitation and includes practitioners working in documentary, artists' moving image, fiction production, screenwriting and other areas involving moving image. If you are interested in the program please contact Steven Eastwood: s.eastwood@qmul.ac.uk The Dept is particularly keen to work with research practices in line with the aims and ambitions of the Centre for Film & Ethics. Research fellows typically work with the Film Dept and its community of students for 1-3 years, and in return for access to resources are encouraged to hold work-in-progress talks and events, and to provide professional development for students assisting on projects.

In the pilot year of the scheme (2017), the first research fellow to join the Department was Canadian filmmaker and ACME artist-in-residence Daniel Cockburn, who has been developing a new body of film essays and expanded cinema lecture performances. Starting January 2019 we have three new film practice fellows joining: Filmmakers Nse Asuquo, Sebastian Buerkner and Hazel Falck.

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Olga Koroleva

The Other is a moving image and scent narrative project based on the poem Le Gars written in 1924 by Russian Silver Age poet Marina Tsvetaeva. This is a notable yet little known piece of feminist literature: Tsvetaeva, who calls her work "a fairy tale', rewrote the folk story’s original ending in favour of the main female character.

In the poem, a young girl, Maroussia, falls in love with a ghoul (he is le Gars) and sacrifices her life and that of her family while protecting his secret. There is a clear bifurcation between the creature that is the ghoul, and the ordered society to which Maroussia belongs. In Matters of Care (pp. 32-33) Maria Puig de la Bellacasa recounts Latour’s work, which might help us understand these binaries: ‘…We remain trapped in binary oppositions, in the perception that in order to account for phenomena we need to bridge the gap between two worlds. And even though bridging, we still tend to give one side the power to know, and even do, the other: nature explains society (or vice versa).’

Opera singer Latana Amari Phoung and read the poem Le Gars while adjusting to each other's physical presence. Latana points out at one point during the shoot-rehearsal that the poem is very cinematic in its landscape, it’s full of textures; we take this on board; we use our bodies to understand the trauma the characters went through, their dilemmas and decisions; we practice trust (I walk backwards with my eyes shut) and our ability to read each other in the space.

It is not until the end of the second part of the poem that the reader learns of Maroussia's resurrection, and that, defying once again the social system she has been brought up to obey, she takes the opportunity to re-join her love. Maroussia gains agency via becoming 'an other' (she dies and by his will / curse, resurrects); he, in turn, gains agency of his own ceasing to be an unwelcome guest but becoming instead a person worthy of love, care, and devotion.

The Other will be released fully online in early 2021 along with a scent narrative, and a story for young audiences based on the poem. This development is supported by Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice grant. This poem also makes an appearance in another work of mine, with grandfather (2017), where my granddad reads out fragments from Hélène Cixous' essay Love of the Wolf.

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Olga Koroleva is a London-based artist – curator – researcher – forager – lecturer. Her work honours slow practice and self-care while exploring ways of non-exploitative cohabitation with multiple others on this planet. She works primarily with expanded research cinema, and is the founder of the international peer group The Political Animal. She has previously taught animal theory at The School of Art, London Metropolitan University. She is currently a Film Practice Fellow at the Centre for Film and Ethics, Queen Mary University of London.

olgakoroleva.com

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Noemi Varga

Noemi Varga's work explores the boundaries of conventional documentary filmmaking, applying the tools of cinematic storytelling to all her subjects. Her short ‘The Happiest Barrack’ won three BAFTA qualifying awards and premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam. Her latest film, 'And It Was The Same With My Son' is about a British Muslim mother who has lost her child to radicalisation. Noémi is a graduate of the RCA Moving Image pathway and was a FLAMIN New Approaches mentee 2017. Her previous films have screened at the ICA, IFF Rotterdam, Aesthetica, amongst others.
Noemi will be working on two projects. 'FOLK' explores the Hungarian revolution of 1956. That same year, Varga's grandfather illegally fled the country never to return. As far as is known, one year later he arrived in Canada as a political refugee, but her father refuses to fill in the gaps. Part archive-based essay film, part travelogue, FOLK sets out to reckon with the self-imposed amnesia practiced both by Varga's father and consecutive regimes' cultural and revisionist policies. 'PICK FOR BRITAIN' is a documentary which reflects the experiences of seasonal farm workers from Romania and Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe. The same group that has been heavily targeted in the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign is essentially responsible for harvesting most of the food that we consume in the UK. In 2020 due to the travel restrictions put in place in the wake of the COVID pandemic a nationwide campaign was launched aiming to recruit local workforce.  The project also explores the precarious nature of farm work.
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hazel flackHazel Falck joins the scheme with her first self-directed independent documentary project. Hazel has worked previously as a Producer in the UK, US and east Africa, specialising in filmmaking and storytelling in connection to programmatic work, social impact and educational projects. 

Wax + Gold researches migration between the Amhara region of Ethiopia and the Gulf states, focusing on women’s thought processes around leaving and their experiences returning to Ethiopia. A documentary film gathers the contexts and questions of women considering migrating, sharing and combining them with answers, advice and lived experience of returnees. The film is being developed in collaboration with six locally-founded community organisations in the region who specialise in working on this issue, and should help open space for discussion, questioning, and reflection. The project aims to explore how a film can stay non-partisan and true whilst also having a dedicated purpose that genuinely, positively contributes to or impacts the issue it is documenting.

Before shooting, Hazel worked as an Impact Producer for Doc Society, which greatly informed her work with partners and refining of purpose in developing this project. Before that she spent two years coordinating Doc Society’s education programme, Doc Academy, which focuses on using documentary film as a stimulus for debate and critical thinking among students in secondary schools across the UK and US.

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Sebastian BuerknerSebastian Buerkner currently investigates experimental capturing techniques for stereoscopic film. Novel visual thresholds can be achieved when supplying each eye with mismatching footage that is simultaneously different and similar.Instead of using the spatial separation between the two cameras he creates 3D disparity or parallax through disrupting of the continuity of time and narration. Sebastian Buerkners work is shown widely internationally in exhibitions and festivals. His first stereoscopic film “The Chimera of M.” won several awards including the Tiger Award for at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and was also was shortlisted for the European Film Awards. Solo shows include Kunsthaus Nuremberg, Germany; Tramway, Glasgow; Sketch, London; The Showroom Gallery, London; Whitechapel Project Space; London and LUX at Lounge Gallery, London; Art on the Underground, Screen at Canary Wharf, London. 

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Daniel Cockburn's450 wide short films have been the subject of an internationally touring retrospective, his feature film script The Engineers received the TIFF Telefilm Canada Pitch This! prize, and his feature You Are Here (2010) played Locarno, Toronto, Rotterdam, and 40+ other festivals. Called "a major discovery" by the director of the Locarno Film Festival, You Are Here won the Jay Scott Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association and the top prize at the European Media Art Festival, for "trend-setting media art". It has been compared to the work of Charlie Kaufman, Jorge Luis Borges, and Philip K. Dick. Cockburn has taken part in numerous residencies, including the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin filmmaker residency, and has been Guest Professor at HBK Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig, Germany. In 2015 he was a resident artist at IMPAKT (Utrecht) as part of the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange (EMARE), and he has presented his live performances All The Mistakes I've Made, parts 1 and 2 internationally. He is currently based in London.