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Soundings project shortlisted for Best Research Film of the Year

Cromer, North Norfolk

A film that uses sound to explore how it can help people to deal with changes in their environment and their lives, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Arts & Humanities Research Council Research (AHRC) in Film Awards.

The film, Soundings, which has been shortlisted for Best Research Film of the Year,  is part of a cross-university AHRC project, led by Dr George Revill, Open University Senior Lecturer in Geography, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and made by co-investigator, Gair Dunlop, Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research), Contemporary Art Practice, University of Dundee) with the Sounding Coastal Change project team.

Vital to engage people with issues of coastal change

The film is based on the North Norfolk coast and on helping people to think about how it is changing, how people’s lives are changing with it, and how they might respond. The film is constructed around a wide range of natural, composed, and recorded sounds. Together these offer a new way to consider the mix of human and non-human activities and changes in North Norfolk, from the Cley Marshes on International Dawn Chorus Day to schoolchildren recording the local environment and questioning their elders.

Dr Revill said: "In the face of accelerating rises in sea level, it is vital that we engage people living on the coast with issues of coastal change. There are choices to be made and we need to be prepared for what lies ahead."

The Best Research Film of the Year is for the very best film made as an output or by-product of arts and humanities research. The criteria states that it will be interesting, technically impressive, bring new research to wider attention, and highlight the value and importance of arts and humanities research.

Gair Dunlop said: “Inspiration for this film comes from a wide range of sources; from the 1940s documentaries of Humphrey Jennings to Ralph Vaughan Williams “in the Fen Country.” As the volume of film and sound material grew through the project, I became more and more interested in pleasure and sensual engagement as ways of experiencing and communicating complex feelings about change. Above all, the voices of residents expressed a complex range of emotions about environmental and social change, and the film took a lead from them.”

The Research in Film Awards 2019 will be presented at a special ceremony at the BFI Southbank on 12 November 2019.

Find out more out OU research in Geography

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