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NUA students win £10,000 Deutsche Bank Award

The first of a three-part documentary series made by Norwich students has received £10,000 funding after winning the Film and Photography category of the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise (DBACE).

Exploring the Mind of Alexandra Mackie, a partly animated account exploring a young blind woman’s imagination, is the creation of Eleanor Wright and Jillian Engelhard Fosten who are studying for degrees in Animation and Film and Moving Image Production respectively at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

DBACE 2015 winners

The winners of DBACE 2015 including (second and third from left) Eleanor Wright and Jillian Engelhard Fosten. Image credit: Amit Lennon

Jillian said: “The mentorship that we’ve received from tutors and the Business Director at NUA helped us to constantly refine our ideas and ensured that we got the best possible result. The money is going to be invested into producing the second and third parts of the documentary. We’re also planning to host installations in Norwich and London which will use light and sound to create art that can be experienced by both visually impaired and sighted people in a similar way.”

DBACE is a major national student competition which provides funding to help budding creative entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality. The Awards have provided £1.4 million in start-up capital to help arts graduates launch 177 new businesses in the UK. Each entrant made a 20 minute presentation to the judging panel, with the winners receiving £10,000 in start-up capital plus business training and mentorship. The awards were announced on Wednesday (13 May) at a ceremony at Deutsche Bank’s London headquarters.

Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications & Corporate Citizenship at Deutsche Bank, said: “We are delighted to welcome some of the UK’s top entrepreneurial and creative talent to the Awards, it’s invigorating to hear their ideas and plans for the future. The standard of application has been very high and they gave the judges a difficult job. We now look forward to seeing their plans in action over the next year.”

Jillian and Eleanor’s entry beat four other shortlisted entries in their category which included applications from NUA students Bradley Morgan Johnson and Tim Simmons. Overall, in its first year of participation NUA led the institutional nominations with five entries in the shortlists, two more than any other institution in what was described by the organisers as the “Norwich phenomenon”.

Sarah Steed, Business Director at NUA, said: “Employability and business skills are of paramount importance at NUA, both because of the impact they have on our graduates’ futures and for the vibrancy of the regional creative economy. Many members of our academic community are established creative practitioners themselves and along with the Business & Employability team they start preparing students to make a sustainable living from their work from day one. This results in extremely high levels of employment for our graduates – 94% are in employment or further education within six months – and a very high proportion of start-up businesses.”

The University is continuing to invest in developing opportunities to encourage start-up activity among its graduates with the launch later this year of the Ideas Factory, a £3 million development hub on St Andrews Street providing supported incubation space for graduate and regional creative digital start-ups, and a state-of-the-art Digital User Research Lab.

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