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Westminster academic and graduates’ films shortlisted for The Oscars 2016

Television, Film and Moving Image 13 January 2016

Westminster graduate Asif Kapadia’s BAFTA-nominated documentary Amy, about the late singer Amy Winehouse, and The Look of Silence by Dr Joshua Oppenheimer have both made the shortlist of the 88th Academy Awards’ Documentary Feature category. Short film Stutterer, produced by film graduate Shan Christopher Ogilvie, has been also shortlisted.

Called “a brave and important document on a subject that no one else dares to touch” by The Guardian, Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence focuses on the 1965 Indonesian genocide, following a family of survivors as they discover how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of his killers. BAFTA award-winning film The Act of Killing was also directed by Dr Joshua Oppenheimer, a Reader at the University of Westminster.

Kapadia’s Amy uses archive footage to show how Amy channelled the struggles she faced in her personal life into her music. Since graduating from the University of Westminster in 1994, Asif Kapadia has directed several award-winning films, including the 2010 award-winning documentary Senna which won the World Cinema Audience Award Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2011.

Both Amy and The Look of Silence made the Guardian’s The 50 Best Films of 2015 list.

Stutterer, produced by 2009 graduate and founder of Bare Golly Films Shan Christopher Ogilvie, is currently one of the 10  films on the shortlist for the Live Action Short Film category. Over 100 pictures had originally qualified in the category.

Ogilvie has made over 15 shorts in a variety of roles. He has filmed concerts and live events, and directed brand videos for the likes of Vodafone, Citibank and O2. Most recently Shan shot a documentary for Channel 5 on the Moors Murderer Ian Brady.

Directed and written by Benjamin Clearly and co-produced by Serena Armitage, Stutterer focuses on a young man with a severe stutter and his difficulties dating. Stutterer has previously won the Best Foreign Film prize at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival and the Best Drama Award at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival. The film was made on an impressive shoestring budget of £5000.

Shan graduated from the University in 2009 with a degree in Film and Television BA Honours, now the Film BA Honours.

The University of Westminster’s Film BA Honours taught at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design is one of the best known film and television courses in the world, with an international reputation for its academic and practical teaching.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday 14 January 2016.

Watch the trailers for Amy, The Look of Silence and Stutterer.

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