Lecturer shortlisted for innovation in film award

Southampton Solent University Senior Lecturer Julian Konczak has been shortlisted in the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research in Film Awards.

Julian, whose project is titled ‘A Polish Journey’, has been shortlisted for ‘Award for innovation in film – best film of the year’. Based on the Polish origins of his family, the online film and research project was supported by Solent University’s Innovation Fund.

“The idea of making a film that explored the Polish origins of my family through a road trip had been around for quite a few years,” says Julian.

“The project started to support the interactive units that I teach at Solent, and creating an interactive documentary from scratch has been extremely useful to draw on both as an example and inspiration.

 “The aim was to create a piece with a strong connection between the form of the story and the content. Migration and borders seemed an ideal match for current trends in cross-platform storytelling, as the maps and geo-location have become a commonplace tool for interactivity.”

Initially with a single aim of developing expertise on the TV production courses in teaching and delivering interactive content, Julian’s project has since expanded into something wider, with a greater possible impact than planned.

 “It’s important for researchers to be open to the possibilities of what might fortuitously evolve once a project starts,” adds Julian.

“It is great to be shortlisted by the AHRC as they represent some of the most significant research into arts in the academic context. The work involved a team of people who invested their skills and talents into the project and it is very positive to get this work seen by a wider audience. It was made on a shoestring with a lot of time and goodwill.”

Julian is currently working with academic and historian Bogusia J. Wojciechowska, who wrote Waiting to be heard: the Polish Christian experience under Nazi and Stalinist Oppression 1939-1955, to develop the text and written elements of the piece.

The AHRC awards are a central strand of the activities taking place throughout 2015 to mark their tenth anniversary, and attracted nearly 200 entries across five categories.

Entries included reconstructions and enactments, animations, installations and gallery pieces, music videos, documentaries, as well as co-produced work including collaborations with community groups.

The awards are designed to recognise the creative and innovative work being undertaken at the interface between research and film by world-leading researchers, practitioners and filmmakers in the UK arts and humanities research community.

Julian is up against entries from University of Kent, Northumberland University, London School of Economics, and CREATe University of Glasgow.

Judges praised the high quality of the films submitted and, in particular, those shortlisted. Jan Dalley, Arts Editor of the Financial Times, AHRC Council member and chair of the judges, said: “The quality of the films shortlisted is an indication of a great deal of creative, innovative and highly engaged work being undertaken within the arts and humanities research community. Our congratulations go to the makers of these films and to the many others whose films didn’t quite make the shortlists.”

The winners will be announced on 12 November 2015 at a special ceremony at the British Film Institute in London.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8201 3079 or press.office@solent.ac.uk

About Southampton Solent University 

Southampton Solent University offers more than 19,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Full list of AHRC shortlisted entries:

The judging panels, which combined industry and academic experts, have now made their decisions and the shortlisted films follow, in no particular order:

Best film produced by a researcher or research team in the last year

KANRAXËL - The Confluence of Agnack – Anna Sowa, SOAS, University of London

Questions of Travel – Charlotte Hodes, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

Lifelines – Jane Dyson, Oxford University

Troubled Waters - Sara Penrhyn Jones, Aberystwyth University

6 months– John Oates, Open University

The Anniversary Award – Best AHRC/AHRB- funded film since 1998 

Rufus Stone – Kip Jones, Bournemouth University

A Modernist in Suburbia – Fiona Fisher, Kingston University London

How Mermaids Breed – Joan Ashworth, formerly Royal College of Art

The Voice of Tradition – Lucy Duran, SOAS, University of London

Troubled Waters- Sara Penrhyn Jones, Aberystwyth University

Best film by an AHRC/AHRB-funded doctoral student since 1998

Spatial Deviants – Janina Schupp, University of Cambridge

3 Church Walk – Emily Richardson, Royal College of Art

Jekyll's Letter – Man Park, Loughborough University

Estuary England – Simon Robinson, University of the Arts London

Hazel – Jacqueline Donachie, Northumbria University

Award for innovation in film – Best film in the last year

I Am A Spy – Sarah Wood, University of Kent

A Polish Journey – Julian Konczak, Southampton Solent University

Camrex – Mark Chapman, Northumbria University

toilet adventures – William A Callahan, London School of Economics

The Adventure of the Girl with the Light Blue Hair– Kristofer Erickson, CREATe University of Glasgow

Inspiration Award – Best film inspired by arts and humanities research (public award)

GastroNomads - Annebel Huijboom

The Burglar With the Yellow Hand – Katherine Blakeney

Watch – Leah Thorn

"This Island's mine" – Miriam Rey

Without a Dollar in my Pocket – Anna Brass




Documents & Links


It is great to be shortlisted by the AHRC as they represent some of the most significant research into arts in the academic context. The work involved a team of people who invested their skills and talents into the project and it is very positive to get this work seen by a wider audience.
Senior Lecturer Julian Konczak