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ARU students put down roots of success

Published: 2 November 2022 at 11:30

Film still of girl standing next to freshly dug grave

BA Film Production project selected for two industry honours

Great news from our BA Film Production Course. 2022 graduating student film Roots has received recognition from two corners of the film industry, being selected for screening at Cambridge Film Festival and shortlisted for the Bill Vinten Guild of Television Camera Professionals University Awards.

Directed by Ugne Jurgiatyte and co-produced by Joana Neves-Brito, Roots will air in full at the Arts Picturehouse on 24 and 26 October as part of Cambridge Film Festival 2022. The festival is presented annually by Cambridge Film Trust (CFT), a registered charity that fosters film culture and education for the benefit of the public, in Cambridge, the Eastern region and throughout the UK.

Roots has also made the shortlist of six finalist films for the Bill Vinten GTC University Awards. The GTC is the Guild of Television Camera Professionals, and this nomination is specifically for work of student Director of Photography Agata Kazmierczak on the film. Agata’s camera team included Camera Operators Marc Jackson and Yegor Chmilewsky and 1st AC Luke Redup. The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony on 27 November.

Roots tells the story of a young woman and her mother living alone in rural isolation. When the young woman wakes one morning to discover her mother has died, it marks both an ending and potential new beginning for her.

The film draws on the aesthetics of soviet era cinema, with the crew originally planning to film in a small village in Lithuania – the home of Director Ugne’s Aunt. Only a week before the crew was due to leave, Russia invaded Ukraine, throwing the region into turmoil. But in only 3 weeks the students managed to identify new filming locations in the Peak District and reorganise the production – a testament to their great determination and ability to solve problems.

Course Leader Sophie Jackson said: “It’s great that all the hard work and challenges the students on this production faced have paid off in this beautiful film - and now the quality of that work is being recognised by the wider community.”

You can watch a short teaser for the film on the ARU YouTube channel.