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Inaugural An-Sophie Fontaine Human Rights Award in Documentary Film in honour of LCC graduate tragically killed

An-Sophie leaping in the air in joy, photographed on ice in what looks like a glacer
  • Written byJake May
  • Published date 22 June 2022
An-Sophie leaping in the air in joy, photographed on ice in what looks like a glacer
An-Sophie Fontaine

London College of Communication MA Documentary Film students have awarded the Inaugural An-Sophie Fontaine Human Rights Award in Documentary, in honour of graduate An-Sophie Fontaine who was tragically killed in an accident in 2016 aged 25.

The award was given to documentary ‘The Martyrs of Khartoum’, directed by Simon Murtagh and Mark Murphy, at the Fastnet Film Festival in Ireland, at the end of May 2022.

The entries to the Best Documentary Award at Fastnet were screened privately and judged by the current cohort of MA Documentary Film students, who devised their own online quiz to monitor feedback and collect scores.

The judging committee consisted of all students from LCC's MA Documentary Film course.

A selection of the cohort – Golden Gonzales-Palmer, Anna Stegmann, Xinyi Zhang, Ziaur Khan, Eric Liu, Ethan Harris Woodfin, Logan Cherry, and Oliver Oldman – were able to travel to the festival, were they presented the award, volunteered in various roles, and delivered a lecture covering what makes a compelling human rights documentary.

A group of MA Documentary Film students post with luggage in an airport
MA Documentary Fim students Golden Gonzales-Palmer, Anna Stegmann, Xinyi Zhang, Ziaur Khan, Eric Liu, Ethan Harris Woodfin, Logan Cherry, Oliver Oldman.

An-Sophie graduated from LCC’s MA Documentary Film course in 2015 as a promising and talented student.

Fellow MA Documentary Film graduate Gareth Johnson writes:

“An-Sophie and I first met when we studied Documentary Film at London College of Communication. Her passion for using documentary film as a medium through which marginalised individuals, groups and issues could be explored and brought into people’s attention was immediately obvious.

“Her research interests were all related to this and her graduation film was based around the plight of Rohingya refugees to the UK and the situation they were fleeing – a situation which was receiving almost no media coverage in the UK at that point.

“Had An-Sophie lived longer then I have no doubt her passion would have flourished into further films, writing and research. As a friend and colleague of An-Sophie I’m glad to see that the spark she carried is being recognised and celebrated as an important and vital strand of contemporary documentary practice”.

MA Documentary Film student Logan Cherry said: “I’ve really truly enjoyed the process of judging the submissions for the Fastnet Festival. The process has encouraged me to look at filmmaking in a different way, thinking critically about each individual aspect from directing, to editing, to concept. It has opened up deep conversation among our class on what makes a film successful.”

An-Sophie’s parents Rudy and Veerle Fontaine have written movingly about their daughter and the Award in her name: “She will be remembered as someone who looked at society and fellow man with an open vision. May this award be inspiring and motivating for everyone who holds human rights in high regard.

“Every merit, big or small, contributes to a better, respectful and peaceful society. We think these ideas are from our dear daughter. An-Sophie shaped us into the parents we are today.”

The award is a Knowledge Exchange collaboration between MA Documentary Film and Fastnet Film Festival, led by Helen Wells, Director, Submissions and Programming at Fastnet Film Festival, Iris Wakulenko, Associate Lecturer, Jeremy Williams, MA Documentary Film Course Leader, and Harriet Cox, Film and Television Programme Director at LCC.

The prize money of €500 is sponsored by LCC’s Screen School.

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