Students rise to film challenge

STUDENTS explored the past, present and future of the pier when they took on the challenge set by Hastings Pier Charity and the University of Brighton of making a heritage film.

Nine groups of Broadcast Media students from the University of Brighton in Hastings were given one of five heritage themes, along with a pack of archive materials and the opportunity to interview an expert.

Bobby Davies, part of group that won the Hastings Pier filmmaking challenge with a 3-minute film on the theme "The Victorians on Holiday"

Bobby Davies, part of group that won the Hastings Pier filmmaking challenge with a 3-minute film on the theme "The Victorians on Holiday"

They then had just a week to produce a three-minute film, as part of the competition funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, some of which will be made available for the general public to view in the new visitor centre or in Hastings Pier Charity’s community hub, to open in White Rock Baths.

The themes were: The Peerless Pier; The Victorians on Holiday; Hastings Pier’s musical heritage; Earth, Wind and Fire: The challenges that have faced Hastings Pier; and 21st Century Pier.

Films were scored in five categories by the panel of judges, which included Simon Opie and Beatrice Rapley from Hastings Pier Charity, Matthew Wheeler, BBC South East producer and director, and myself (Hannah Collisson).

All the films were screened at the university on Monday (October 7), and four groups were awarded cash prizes.

These four were all quality films, with little to separate them in terms of points. They were all scored highly for responding to the brief, and for their use of archive material and the interview.

The winning film was on the theme of The Victorians on Holiday, featuring an interview with Julian Porter, curator of Bexhill, and the group receiving the £200 first prize comprised Bobby Davies, Chalice Bartholomew, Antonio Gracia Romero, Tom Davenport, and Tom Lonsdale.

Congratulating all the groups that took part, Mr Opie chief executive of Hastings Pier Charity, said: “Every single one of them showed a huge amount of application, energy, and enthusiasm.

“It came down to the fundamental of telling a good story, and sticking to the brief.”

View the winning film online at www.hastingsobserver.co.uk.