Film about Asylum Seeker Wins Second Award for Students

Friday, 28 November 2008

NUI Galway students were among the winners at the 7th Media and Multicultural Awards (MAMA) yesterday. Richard Walsh and Julian Ulrichs, students of the M.A. in Production and Direction at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, won an award for their short documentary 'F.G.M. - No Way Home'. Dealing with the issue of female genital mutilation, the film tells the story of Pamela Izevbekhai, a Nigerian woman currently seeking asylum with her daughters in Ireland. The MAMAs were established by the newspaper Metro √Čireann, to recognise people, groups, companies, institutions and media platforms that promote diversity and multiculturalism in Ireland. In September, F.G.M. - No Way Home was also awarded the Best Short Documentary prize at the Radharc Awards. For their short film, producer Richard Walsh, from Ballybunion, County Kerry, and Director Julian Ulrichs, from Galway City, travelled to Nigeria to film footage for the documentary. The resulting piece is a hard-hitting yet sensitive exploration of the cultural and legal aspects surrounding the issue of female genital mutilation. The short documentary was based on a brief proposed by students of the M.A. in Public Advocacy, who collaborate with Production and Direction students every year to deliver incisive films addressing societal issues. Commenting on the most recent win, James Finlan, coordinator of the M.A. in Production and Direction said: "This was the first year we had students filming outside of Ireland, which was an exciting development. It's important to note the input from NUI Galway's Public Advocacy students Elisa Allen and Jayme Street, who came up with the initial brief on which the film was based. Winning the award vindicates the collaboration between the Production and Public Advocacy students, which is a unique aspect of these courses". Earlier this year, another Huston graduate Brian Deane won the Babelgum online film festival prize which was presented by Spike Lee at the Cannes Film Festival. Huston Screenwriting graduates have also won three out of four Stella Artois Pitching Awards at recent Galway Film Fleadhs. Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Arts Policy, Digital Media and Public Advocacy. Further information available from: www.filmschool.ie
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