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StoryFutures Academy shortlisted for Festival UK* 2022 R&D Project

  • StoryFutures Academy
  • November 16th 2020
  • Professor James Bennett
Festival UK* 2022 aims to showcase the UK's creativity and innovation

StoryFutures Academy, led by Royal Holloway, University of London and the National Film & Television School has been shortlisted as one of 30 Creative Teams to take part in the R&D Project of Festival UK* 2022. Ultimately, Festival UK* 2022 will bring about ten open, original, optimistic, large-scale installations to showcase the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.

StoryFutures Academy will be exploring the use of immersive technologies drawing on the partnerships of the BFI's world-leading film heritage, Uplands TV and David Olusoga’s storytelling expertise, digital innovation from ISO Design and Nexus Studios, and involvement of communities across The Reading Agency’s network of library partners across the UK.

James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures Academy said: ‘StoryFutures Academy is delighted to be leading this extraordinary team of STEAM creatives who are all passionate about exploring how immersive storytelling can help us build a shared sense of identity across the UK. With Festival UK* 2022 we can make the participation in our experiences uplifting and educational, whilst developing a shared vision for the future that is hopeful and optimistic. We are thrilled that David Olusoga has agreed to act as creative lead for the partnership, and we believe this partnership can truly inspire a national conversation about what identity means to people across the UK.’

David Olusoga

David Olusoga, the British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster and film-maker, will be the Creative Lead for StoryFutures Academy’s Festival UK* 2022 bid. Alongside Mike Smith, he is part of the duo behind Uplands TV, an independent TV company committed to making history alive to audiences now. David Olusoga's most recent TV series include Black and British: A Forgotten History (BBC 2) and the BAFTA winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (BBC 2). David is also the author of Black & British: A Forgotten History which was awarded both the Longman-History Today Trustees Award and the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize. His exclusive UK broadcast interview with Barack Obama will air this week on BBC One.

The bid is supported by organisations that champion opportunity, visibility and platforms for under-represented voices. Engaging with local and diverse communities is key to StoryFutures Academy’s plans for Festival UK* 2022. Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI said: ‘We’re really excited to continue our partnership with StoryFutures Academy for Festival UK* 2022, enabling new and innovative ways for the public to access the UK’s rich and diverse screen heritage. The BFI National Archive holds one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world, offering insights into the lives of communities around the UK over the past 100 plus years. We’ll be using our partnerships; with filmmakers, exhibitors and educators as well as our own direct activity, to bring these to the widest possible public audience across the UK.’

Our Creative Team

Hayley Butler, Head of Marketing and Communications, The Reading Agency said that: ‘At The Reading Agency we are committed to empowering, enabling and accessing regional voices through the proven power of reading. We impact 1.8 million people nationwide annually through libraries, schools and colleges, prisons, unions and many other community hubs. We’re delighted to be able to support such an ambitious project that showcases the outward-looking version of Britain we want to live in; bringing the marginalised communities we work with to the forefront of the conversation.'

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