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Nine short films have been shot, produced and edited for use by the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust by a cohort of 28 students studying Television Production and Post Production for Film and Television at Solent University, Southampton.

26th April 2024
TV, film, media production and technologyTelevision productionHomepage - News - Standard

In a successful partnership between Solent and the Trust, and for the third year in a row, students have produced impactful short films in support of important services in the region across mental and community health.

In response to a brief provided by the Trust, students have made a series of impressive films that explore a broad range of themes relevant to communities living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Helping to get across key information about subjects that community members are most invested in, the films sensitively discuss mental and physical wellbeing and shine a light on cyber bullying, becoming a parent at a young age, and the importance of good sexual health knowledge.

Sarah Reed, Communications and Media Manager for Southern Health, says: "I have been so excited and indeed moved to see the creative ideas the students have come up with to raise awareness of vital mental health issues.

"As a trust we have been impressed by students' professional approach to the projects and their empathic approach to the sensitive nature of the content. I have really enjoyed working with them over the past few months and have had excellent feedback from the staff and patients they have been working with. The students can be proud that their project will help others to get the support they need."

At a special screening event on Thursday 25 April at Solent University, staff, students and members of the Southern Health team came together to watch the films and celebrate the impressive skills of students, while reflecting on the themes raised in the productions. This project has a dual impact, enhancing student skills while fostering conversation and cultivating connections.

Will Swain, second-year Television Production student, says: "Working with a real-world client has really boosted my work ethic and taught me industry processes. This experience has boosted the other opportunities I have at university, such as Sonar Events and Solent Productions, where I gain more skills for such a big industry."

The project offers students practical, future-ready experience during their study, while delivering high-quality content for the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Kate O'Driscoll, Senior Lecturer in Television Production and Post Production for Film and Television at Solent who pioneered the collaboration, says:

"Our courses are industry accredited, and this is due in part to the exceptional real-world learning opportunities we offer to all students. This particular project required second-year students to apply their creativity to some very challenging briefs, and they have excelled in their professionalism, collaborative skills and in their ability to approach some difficult subject matters with sensitivity and respect. I have no doubt that this learning experience will have greatly enhanced their CVs and future success in the creative industries."

The films made by students have an important role to play in eradicating taboos and encouraging conversation. This works both ways, encouraging the students themselves to get involved in talking about the issues explored, and supporting communities to seek out the services offered by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Sam Kershaw, Callum Felice, Ben Fry and James Gibson, second-year Television Production students who worked together on a film, say: "Solent University has helped us develop skills we didn't have before and helped us grow the skills we already had. The University has also given us multiple amazing opportunities to get experience within the industry, including working with the NHS and filming festivals like Boardmasters and Glastonbury."