George Turner

Film student selected for essay award

George Turner, currently studying BA (Hons) Film at the School of Arts, has had his essay, entitled ‘The Spectacle of (In)Justice: The Ethics of the Judicial System in Documentary Cinema’, selected as ‘Highly Commended’ by The Global Undergraduate Awards 2019 in the category Music, Film and Theatre.

The Global Undergraduate Awards is the world’s leading undergraduate awards programme which recognises top undergraduate work, shares this work with a global audience and connects students across cultures and disciplines. George says ‘to be selected was an exciting and humbling surprise’. George’s essay was originally written for the Documentary Cinema module which George took in his second year, and says of his teachers: ‘Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani and Dr Zahra Tavassoli Zea’s inspired teaching helped push me to write the essay the way I did’.

The essay examines how we consume contemporary documentaries. The huge responses to crime/investigation documentaries such as Making a Murderer or Conversations with a Killer raises ethical issues concerning the production and distribution of such films. George’s essay brings these various complications to the fore by examining the styles, subject matters and consequential effects of three documentaries; Capturing the Friedmans (2003, Andrew Jarecki); Titicut Follies (1967, Frederick Wiseman); Sisters In Law (2004, Kim Longinotto).

In addition to winning this award, another of George’s essays, enitlted ‘”Thy Shall Bear Witness!”: A Case for the Continued Admiration of Early Cinema’, has recently been published by independent online film publication Electric Ghost Magazine.

In this essay, George puts forth an argument for the creative virtues of silent cinema and notes ‘silent cinema should not be disregarded as an underdeveloped version of the same cinematic attraction. In contemporary viewing, early silent cinema serves a different purpose; it is not an inferior predecessor to a superior successor, but an alternative form of film altogether’.

George’s essay can be seen in Electric Ghost Magazine.