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Film student collects big win at Taiwan Film Festival

Thursday 4 April 2019

A TALENTED student was presented with the Student Journalism Prize at the Taiwan Film Festival UK 2019.

Final year BA Film Studies undergraduate, Derick Bennett, was in London to claim his prize; £300 in cash; travel and accommodation expenses; attendance to the premiere of the opening film, Dragon Inn; plus, a meeting with one of the judges from the competition for one-on-one career advice. 
Derick won this award after wowing a panel of international film journalists with his review of Goodbye, Dragon Inn, a Taiwanese film, which he watched at the University of Salford during the festival’s touring programme. His review is available on the Taiwan Film Festival UK’s website, as well as appearing in their brochure.

Film Taiwan shines a light on the uncensored voices of Taiwanese cinema; Taiwan Festival Iceland and Taiwan Festival UK showcase a programme of classic and new independent films.  

Derick said: “It feels fantastic to have been invited to the ceremony and to win the award. I am looking forward to a Q&A taking place on Thursday evening for another film screening at the festival. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a bit of networking done and just enjoy the experience really!”

Derick, aged 36, completed an Access to Higher Education course and began a degree in Japanese studies before realising that film was his true passion, finally starting as a mature student at the University of Salford. 

“Salford has been fantastic for helping me develop my film reviewing skills. We have a Film Journalism module in second year, which is tailor-made for opportunities like this. We’re shown how to write persuasively and in a range of styles depending on the target audience.

“For my review of Goodbye, Dragon Inn, I was able to apply a lot of the critical analysis we’ve been learning on the course, since day one, to pick out specific traits to discuss, and then use the Film Journalism framework to write a convincing piece.”

Derick plans to continue his studies and complete a master’s degree, followed by a PhD: “the whole university experience has motivated me to try and achieve. Seeing how my lecturers interact with and encourage the students on our course has inspired me to pursue a career as a university lecturer.”

Derick’s lecturer, Dr Martin Flanagan, added: "Derick is one of our leading final year students, and he brought all of his creative talent and incisive expressive skills to bear on his film review. The staff are delighted that he has been rewarded with this success, as we always felt that his writing would hold up against anybody's."

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Holly Attwell

0161 295 5087