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University of Winchester film students bring city Books Festival to screen

University of Winchester film students bring city Books Festival to screen

University of Winchester Film Production students stayed fully focused when it came to helping launch the city’s newest festival.

Isobel Hood, Jack Robinson, Rebecca Lane and Tammo Foad made the promotional films for the first Winchester Books Festival (21-23 April), which the University is sponsoring.

The quartet made three videos, one recording the launch event at the University’s West Downs Centre, and two featuring interviews with individual authors who were there to speak about their new books,

The writers caught on camera were Claire Fuller, author of The Memory of Animals, and Sarah Barclay, whose latest work is Eden’s Keepers.

Both books were written during lockdown.

Clare, who studied for her MA in Creating Writing at the University and received an honorary doctorate in October, describes how she wrote her novel, which centres on the chaos caused by a pandemic, at home looking out on an idyllic meadow full of goats.

She will be appearing on panel alongside Chibundu Onuzo and Frances Liardet at an event entitled How to Get Published, which will be hosted by Judith Heneghan. Judith is not only a published children’s author but is also Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester. Their discussion takes place at the Milner Hall, in St Peter Street, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm on 22 April.

Sarah Barclay, who lives in the Meon Valley, penned her story of platonic romance and gardening, partly at home and partly at the National Archive in Bloomsbury where she was carrying out research. She will be talking about the book at the Pastoral Hall in Jewry Street on 2 April from 11am to midday.

Shira Pinczuk, Head of the University’s School of Media and Film praised her young filmmakers’ approach to the project.

“They were working unsupervised, and they were very professional and good ambassadors for the University,” says Shira.

“We encourage our students to get involved with community projects and we hope the Books Festival becomes an annual event within which future film students can work.”

Co-founder of the festival, Sian Searles gave the Winchester students a glowing review: “I thought they did a fantastic job and everyone who’s seen the films thinks the same.”

Isobel and Jack have now been booked to film further festival events and other students from the department have been recruited to work as sound technicians.

First-year Isobel says: “We hadn’t done anything like this before, a busy event with lots of people, so it was a really good learning curve. It’s given us a lot of confidence.”

As well as being its main sponsor, the University of Winchester is also a key festival venue, hosting three events with an historical flavour.

On 22 April Marc Morris will be talking about his latest work, The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England, at the Chapel of the University’s Winchester Business School on West Downs Campus, from 11am to midday.

The following day (23 April) Marina Wheeler will be discussing her family memoir, The Lost Homestead: My Mother, Partition, and the Punjab, from 11am to midday at the University’s West Downs Auditorium.

History from closer to home is the subject when Rebecca Abrams speaks about her book, Licoricia of Winchester: Power and Prejudice in Medieval England: The Rise and Fall of a Remarkable Jewish Businesswoman, at the Business School’s Shakespeare Room from 1pm to 2pm on 23 April..

Among the other authors appearing at venues around the city are Charles Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana, TV historian Dan Snow, and Winchester’s own jet-pilot-turned-writer, Mandy Hickson.

Tickets can be booked for all Winchester Books Festival events via the Festival website.

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