BA (Hons) Media Arts news highlights
360 Panorama of the British Council's Great Creator, UK Graduate Show 2015 in Beijing. Taken by David Hilton.

Sean Valentine nominated for a national award for his documentary Wild Swimmers

BA (Hons) Media Arts graduate Sean Valentine has been nominated for a national award at the National RTS Student Television Awards Ceremony on Friday 16 June 2017. Sean’s is one of only three videos from across the country to be shortlisted for the factual award. He has also been nominated for the Craft Skills Camerawork and Craft Skills Sound categories. It is a huge achievement to be shortlisted and we wish him all the best on the night. 

Sean has settled in Plymouth and has been working with Fotonow as a filmmaker since graduating. Wild Swimmers was produced by Sean in the Independent Practice module in his final year of Media Arts. 

International success for media arts animation students

3-D animated films created by two BA (Hons) Media Arts students have featured in the recent Animation Marathon Festival last month in Athens, Greece. The festival took place in Ρομάντσο, the former printing plant of the once famous Romantso magazine, situated in the historical center of Athens which now functions both as hub for start-up companies within the creative industry and as a cultural centre, organizing and hosting a variety of events accessible to the wider public.

Terry Burrows, who graduated in 2016, presented his final year film The Spider, a model animation about fear, exploring the irrational thoughts that pop into your head when faced with something that might cause you embarrassment or for other people to have a lesser opinion of you. 

As Terry explained: “The thought of what we might be facing is often more scary than what we actually encounter... it’s the idea of the spider that scares you - so in this film, the spider is a metaphor for any situation we might find ourselves in, no matter how big or small.”

Terry joined Plymouth University in 2013. After his first year on the BA (Hons) Media Arts course, Terry began to study animation and went on to produce several short films including The Jungle and The Use of Sound. During his time at the University, Terry founded his own animation company, Walnut Productions, which provided an outlet for his films and a professional identity. Terry is currently developing several projects with Walnut Productions, which specializes in humorous, quirky, original short films made from the recycled objects and materials you would find in your home. On the experience of screening his film alongside professional from around the world, Terry said: “To be involved in a festival makes me feel I'm part of an industry.”

Student Ambassador Dmitri Domoskanov, currently a second year BA (Hons) Media Arts student, is delighted that his film Rock Matrix, a virtuoso claymation inspired by the Eastern European Surrealist tradition of experimental stop-motion film-making, is achieving international success. He said:

“University is the place where students are given a possibility to take as much as they can while they are still students. To me it was extremely important to constantly ask tutors for help, collaborate with course mates and make the best use of the University’s facilities and equipment. Thanks to that, I managed to produce an animation piece that was screened in Athens alongside professional animated films from across the world.

It showed me how important it is to put effort into every work. It means a lot to me that the animation I produced during my university course went to the animation festival. It has encouraged me to take every opportunity that is being offered, always stay truthful and passionate to art and work hard for it.”

Estonia-born Dmitri says it was always his ambition to study in the UK: 

“My dream was to study in England, which has given me not only the opportunity to practice languages but also an invaluable experience. Although I miss my friends and family, I know that it is better for me and my future career, and I will never regret my choice of studying in Plymouth University, because the people I meet and projects I make here help to evolve my skills and expand my area of interest.”

Animation tutor Dr Kayla Parker, said: 

“I am so proud of Terry and Dmitri. They have both worked incredibly hard to develop a distinctive and professional style as animators. It requires such a lot of commitment and perseverance to achieve the very best results in stop-motion film-making, which is a difficult technique to master – a high level of professionalism is very hard to accomplish when frame-by-frame methods. It is really rewarding that their achievement is being recognized at an international level, and I hope their success will inspire others - we have some amazingly talented animation students working with us on media arts.”

BA (Hons) Media Arts students are introduced to a range of animation techniques by tutor Kayla Parker at the beginning of their second year of study, and all are encouraged to develop their own, individual style. Stop-motion techniques are popular, with students using professional Dragonframe capture software in the studio, along with other computer programs, to make animations in modelling clay, plasticine, or found objects, pixillation films with human performers, or creating time-lapse on location. Another recent graduate from Media Arts, Anna Louise Day, has now completed a masters degree in Experimental Film at Kingston University, London, and continues to make a name for herself as an artist, creating distinctive animation films using macro-photography. Anna’s latest film was selected for the It’s LIQUID Contemporary Venice exhibition held at Palazzo Flangini in Venice during December 2016 and January 2017.

Social justice award for Plymouth University media arts lecturer in New York

Associate Lecturer in Media Arts, Amanda Bluglass was honoured last week at the 2016 Parity Awards in New York city for her commitment to social justice in elevating LGBTQ people of faith through documentary film.

Parity is a faith-based advocacy organisation which works to create a world where gender and sexual identities are not barriers to lives of observance, faith and religious affiliation.

Executive Director of Parity, Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen said:

"Amanda's tremendous film, Out of Order, captures what Parity stands for: LGBTQ people reconciling their sexual and gender identities with their faith. The film shows the struggle of emerging pastors as they face discrimination and uncertainty within their faith communities. It also shows the fellowship that is built into the affirming space of Parity’s pastoral retreat, allowing these young leaders to develop their gifts, and to serve their congregations and the larger society. Throughout her career as a BBC news reporter, TV producer, radio journalist, university lecturer and award-winning filmmaker, she has created compelling portraits of other hidden individuals, including a punk octogenarian and a pioneering deep-sea diver. For these achievements, and all her work to highlight social justice issues through her art, she has our gratitude and profound respect."
The 2016 Parity Awards took place on Thursday, November 17 at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City. 

Amanda's documentary Out of Order, which is currently doing the international film festival circuit, was shot over four years across eight states within the USA. It follows the lives for four aspiring LGBTQ ministers in their journey towards ordination during key moments in US history. It was funded by crowdfunding and support from partners including Plymouth University Media Arts staff development fund.

It has been recognised with two Official Selections: Atlanta's LGBT Film Festival 'Out on Film, 2016; and Palm Springs 2016 'Cinema Diverse' Film Festival.

It is due for release in 2017.

Media Arts Associate Professor, John Matthias and Jay Auborn (dbs Plymouth) have written part of the score to the new feature film, 'Poor Boy' directed by Robert Scott Wildes which features performances from Michael Shannon and Dale Dickey (well-known for her work in 'Breaking Bad'). 'Poor Boy' is having its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, New York City on April 13th 2016.

The film, shot in the American Desert follows the story of Romeo and Samson Griggs, two reckless, misfit brothers living on the outskirts of town, who survive by hustling, gambling, and thieving. The score also features music by Thom Yorke, Jon Hopkins and four tracks from John Matthias and Nick Ryan's 'Cortical Songs' including Media Arts Lecturer, Andrew Prior's 'Thimble taps' Remix. 

Media Arts wins Royal Television Society Student Award for 5th year

Media Arts has been entering student work for the regional Royal Television Society Student Awards for the last five years and has won every time. This year the winner was Alexander Nicol, whose documentary War on the Moors was winner of the News category.

Alex graduated this year with a first class honours degree in BA (Hons) Media Arts. He was Media Arts Student of the Year and has been employed full time by one of our regular graduate employers Silverstream TV.

“During my time at Plymouth University I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and ability to express myself through different mediums. The course helped me to develop a variety of skills and knowledge which enabled me to move into a commercial environment directly after graduation. Winning this award has made me reflect on how much time and energy was spent in the creation of the documentary over a six month period. I would like to extend my thanks to all the people who appeared and assisted in the creation of Wars on the Moors.”

Alexander Nichol

Alex was a valuable member of the staff student liaison committee, helping to bring new initiatives into the programme. He went to on an all-expenses paid trip to Prague after winning the Deans award at the end of his second year.

The award was well deserved and we wish Alex all the best with his future career.

The RTS award ceremony takes place annually as part of Breaking Into Media, a media careers event organised in collaboration with the Media Innovations Network.

The Breaking Into Media includes the Getting In and Getting On session featuring a panel of speakers working and running companies in the sector who will give their top tips on getting into the industry and progressing in your career plus a special Meet the Employers Networking session. 

Find out more about Alex's story after graduating

Media Arts at the British Council's Great Creator UK graduate show 2015, Beijing

Our very own Doctor David Hilton, Media Arts Associate Professor, was one of only 3 academics representing Arts Higher Education in the UK at the British Council's Great Creator UK Graduate Show in Beijing. He ran a workshop for delegates exploring the medium of  360 cinema, his specialist field. Take a look at the opening night through a mini 360 snapshot of the event created by David.

We're also proud that BA (Hons) Media Arts graduate Tenzinsedon was selected to exhibit work in the graduate exhibition. Tenzinsedon graduated in 2014 and went on to win numerous awards both in the UK and in China for the outstanding documentaries she produced while a student on BA Media Arts at Plymouth University.

Watch a short interview with Tenzinsedon at Great Creator (Vimeo)  


Great Creator, UK Graduate Show took place on the 30th and 31st of October 2015 in Beijing attended by the British Ambassador, with the well-known fashion shoe designer Jimmy Choo (another UK graduate) and multi BAFTA award winner Graham Fink, contributing to the event. 

After the event, Fraser Deas of the British Council China said:

"We are incredibly grateful to you for giving up your time to be a part of the event, which attracted nearly 50,000 people over the weekend and a further 700,000 people online, not to mention media circulation upwards of two million, including a report on CCTV’s national news channel. This would not have been possible without your attendance and your inspiring master class, which was very well received by all the students and members of the public who joined".

Media Arts students win YCN award

Congratulations to second year students Adam Read, Conor Carroll, Jasmine Casey and Matthew Chappell who won a YCN award for their Idle Man advertising campaign.

To have a win from our first set of YCN entries is fantastic!  YCN competition briefs were only introduced to the second year Media Arts Collaborative Practice module this year with the intention of giving students live brief experience working as small, collaborative production teams.

In September Adam, Conor, Jasmine and Matt attended a special  YCN  award ceremony in London. They were delighted to also receive the overall category win for their campaign for the Idle Man clothing company.

You can watch the video produced as part of the winning campaign on You Tube. Full list of YCN award winners.

Chernobyl video goes viral

Danny Cooke, Media Arts Associate Lecturer and graduate filmed the haunting video 'Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl', while working on a '60 Minutes' segment for CBS News about the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Media Arts produces Random Acts with Calling the Shots

Media Arts is to work with the production house Calling the Shots on Channel 4’s Random Acts series.

Random Acts is a daily arts strand on Channel 4, late nights. Television as art, rather than about art, Random Acts will enable a diverse supply of both established artists and emerging talent to create their own pieces.

This partnership will open up lots of exciting new opportunities for our students.

Still from Rob Potter's Bitter Natives

Graduate shortlisted for Hollywood

Graduate Lexi Gilbert is now the only UK contender left in the running for a place at one of the world's top cinema make up schools in California. She entered the competition after working as a trainee special effects artist on the cult series Game of Thrones. BBC Spotlight interview

Rob Potter continues to win awards for Bitter Natives

Rob produced the short drama, Bitter Natives, as a final year Media Arts student. The film has since won online awards and been screened at international festivals.

Media Arts News

  • and was announced Student of the Year at the Media Innovations Awards.

    Jonathan Brough graduated with a First in Media Arts

    and was announced Student of the Year at the Media Innovations Awards.
  • at the Royal Television Society Devon & Cornwall student awards ceremony.

    Tenzinsedon, winner of the Best Factual Video award

    at the Royal Television Society Devon & Cornwall student awards ceremony.
  •  to receive the award for Best Student Film

    Vince Knight, Media Arts graduate, at the Golden Eye International Festival of Cameramen in Georgia

    to receive the award for Best Student Film

Media Arts student wins Media Innovations Award

The Media Innovation Awards celebrate the innovative use of media and design across the South West of England. At the 2014 award ceremony on 27 November 2014, Jonathan Brough, Media Arts recent graduate was announced winner of the Student of the Year Award.
https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/news/four-awards-celebrate-our-creative-talent

Royal Television Society Student Awards

Tenzinsedon, a recent Media Arts graduate from Tibet, won the award for Best Factual Video at the Royal Television Society Devon & Cornwall student awards ceremony on 19 November 2014. The ceremony was part of the careers event Breaking into Media, an annual event sponsored by Plymouth University. This is the fourth year in a row that Media Arts has won an RTS award.
Watch the winning video


Vince Knight wins International Cameraman Awards

On 18 October 2014, Vince Knight, Media Arts graduate, was at the Golden Eye International Festival of Cameramen in Georgia to receive the award for Best Student Film.

On 22 October 2014, he was in York, where he took first place at the Guild of Television Cameramen University Awards.

After graduation in 2012 Vince went on to do a Masters at Bournemouth University. In addition to building up an impressive list of DOP credits, Vince continues to work all over the world with Drift Allstars, the company he first contacted in his Media Arts Collaborative Practice module. Read the Guild of Television Cameramen article.


 Viva. Punk Rebel, 82

Media Arts Associate Lecturers Amanda Bluglass and Danny Cooke are continuing to grow an award-winning partnership with their latest successful collaboration, having scooped four international awards with their latest short documentary collaboration ‘Viva. Punk Rebel, 82’

The film has won official selections at:

  • Lunafest 2014
  • Bafta-supported Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2014
  • Best Shorts Awards 2014
  • San Francisco International Festival of Short Films 2014.

Watch Viva

Image from Viva. Punk Rebel, 82

Two new participatory cinema experiences by Imperfect Cinema

Tamar, a live screen/sound performance is a collaborative project between imperfect cinema and the imperfect cinema orchestra. Director, Allister Gall also recently facilitated Walk On Film, a project in partnership with the British Film Institute, South West Film and Television Archive, iDat and the River Tamar Project.

Imperfect Cinema’s co-founder Allister Gall is a Media Arts Associate Lecturer and PhD student.

Find out more at www.allistergall.com or www.imperfectcinema.com

Beneath360 wins Media Innovation Best Film Award


Media Arts associate lecturer Amanda Bluglass, together with graduates Vince Knight and Danny Cooke, won Best Film award at the Media Innovation Awards 2013. Their film, Beneath 360, was commissioned by ICCI, the Arts Council and the cultural Olympiad 2012 and features high board Olympic diver Tom Daley. It can be seen at www.beneath360.com.

Still from To the Dogs

Media Arts students win Royal Television Society Student Award 2013

For the third year running Media Arts won at the regional RTS student awards. Ben Hancock and Will Jenkins’ superb drama To the Dogs took first place in the fiction category. The film, which was made as part of Media Arts third year Collaborative Practice module, was a truly outstanding achievement.

New Book by Media Arts Graduate Fashion Photographer Tim Walker

The Granny Alphabet, the latest book by leading fashion photographer and Media Arts graduate came out in November 2013. Tim’s stunning fashion photography continues to take lead place in Vogue magazine as it has for over a decade.  

Media Arts graduate and leading academic Adrian Athique publishes new book

Digital Media and Society: An Introduction was published in September 2013.  In the book Adrian kindly acknowledges the role of Media Arts staff in the early development of his career.  Adrian also contributed to our new graduate brochure.

“…thanks again for all you guys did for me at Media Arts, still the best degree I have been involved with.” Dr Adrian Athique, Chair of Arts, Waikato University, New Zealand

PUMA take on Plymouth Raiders

Media Arts new commercial production house PUMA was commissioned to produce a video to launch the new season for Plymouth Raiders.

As we have PhD student and ex-Raiders captain Allister Gall on the PUMA staff, this commission was a great one for us to take on. Allister worked with recent graduates to produce the piece which has been followed up by highlight videos throughout the season.

BBC takes Media Arts graduate to Nashville!

BBC Introducing took three artists, nominated by their local BBC Introducing show to the Americana Music Festival & Conference. Eloise Rees, Media Arts graduate and very talented musician was selected to play the Hard Rock Café, Nashville with her band, The Giants. Eloise said:

“I did an interview with Elexu PR in London and when asked what would be the absolute zenith of my ambition as a young singer/songwriter, I replied ‘to play live in Nashville’. This was truly a dream come true.” Read the full interview.

Panel for Media Professionals with the Media Innovations Network

BA (Hons) Media Arts students took part in their first panel for media professionals on 22 April 2015. This was a joint initiative with the Media Innovation Network made possible through the School of Art and Media, creative partners scheme.

The session was designed to help students understand the wide range of career opportunities within the media sector and to get advice on their own career ambitions. Panel members offered this wonderful opportunity on a voluntary basis.  

Each of the panel members gave a short presentation on their educational background, how they got into the industry and their career progression. This was followed by one to one meetings with individual students. During these sessions the students were be able to ask questions and discuss their career aspirations allowing the panellists to offer specific advice and inspiration.

Feedback from the panellists has been very positive with a number offering to keep in touch with the students in the build up to their graduation. This is an offer that the students are more than keen to take up.  

The Media Innovation Network includes a wide range of professionals who value the opportunity to share their expertise and experience with those who are about to embark on their careers. The Creative Partners agreement provides a framework for the Network to make this happen. The agreement also helps facilitate a large annual careers event called Breaking into Media for media students across the South West. Both of these events offer invaluable advice and support to students trying to find their way into a complex and competitive field of work.