Passionate conservationist gains first Wildlife Filmmaking scholarship

Issue date: 02 October 2016

Wildlife Filmmaking student

Passionate conservationist Alice Owen has been awarded the first Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT) and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) scholarship for an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking.

Alice, who has worked across Africa for several conversation charities, including the Born Free Foundation, began her course last month and hopes to learn how to tell powerful and distinctive stories about the natural world.

Alice said, “I have first-hand experience of how people and wildlife interact in some of the world's most pristine conservation areas, and hope the course will enable me to document these interactions in a creative way, both for audiences here in the UK, and also for the communities that call these wildlife areas home.

“I also hope that I can bring new perspectives that will be attractive to audiences not previously engaged in conservation issues. I am very excited to start the course and am so grateful to The Stephen Lawrence Trust and UWE Bristol for giving me this amazing opportunity.”

The MA Wildlife Filmmaking is the first SLCT scholarship aimed at emerging talent in the broadcast sector. The Trust also offers scholarships to study architecture, law and journalism to ensure talented young people from diverse and underrepresented communities are able to access a variety of careers.

Julian Hector, head of the BBC's Natural History Unit, said, “I'm so thrilled Alice has taken the opportunity to join the MA in Wildlife Filmmaking; her perspective on wildlife is special and she has a great deal to offer - she will flourish on the course.”

Sonia Watson, CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said, The Trust is delighted to hear that UWE Bristol has successfully awarded a recipient of the Stephen Lawrence Wildlife Filmmaking Scholarship.

“This bursary perfectly encapsulates the aims and work of the Trust in trying to provide great opportunities to disadvantaged and under-represented young people. This unique bursary and partnership with UWE Bristol also adds an exciting new dimension to our work which we are keen to explore and develop.

“The Trust would like to wish Alice the very best with her studies and future pursuit of a career in Wildlife Filmmaking. We'd also like to extend a huge thank you to UWE Bristol for all their work in recognising the importance of increasing diversity within the media, giving disadvantaged young people the chance to develop their talents and gain access to an industry which would've proven very difficult for them to get into otherwise.”

The UWE Bristol/BBC Wildlife Filmmaking Master course is a practical, one year MA, featuring masterclasses from industry leaders, practitioners and experts in the field and craft of wildlife filmmaking. The course, now in its fifth year, has an employment rate of 90-100%, at any one time, for its graduates.

Professor Alex Gilkison, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean at UWE Bristol, said, “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and the BBC to offer this scholarship and help Alice establish a career in natural history programme making.”

Alice will the also receive additional support in the form of bespoke mentoring throughout the course, and after graduation, from production staff at the BBC and Plimsoll Productions; an independent production company based in Bristol.

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