SOAS University of London

SOAS films win two categories at AHRC Research In Film Awards

13 November 2015
Confluence of Agnak

Two films produced by SOAS, University of London scholars have won their individual categories at last night’s Arts & Humanities Research Council Research In Film Awards Ceremony, held at the British Film Institute.

The films are KANRAXËL: The Confluence of Agnack, winning the ‘Best film produced by a researcher or research team in the last year’ category and The Voice of Tradition winning ‘The Anniversary Award – Best AHRC/AHRB- funded film since 1998’ category.

KANRAXËL: The Confluence of Agnack, filmed at Professor Friederike Lüpke’s, field site in Senegal, was produced within the AHRC-funded collaborative skills developments scheme 'Language research and teaching in a multilingual world'.

This scheme was run at SOAS between 2012 and 2013 by Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Director of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, Professor Friederike Lüpke, Professor of Language Documentation and Description and Dr Noriko Iwasaki, Senior Lecturer in Language Pedagogy.

The judges described this film as "a highly sophisticated film, beautifully shot, cut and recorded, which conveys the nature of multilingual life in the village very effectively".

The Voice of Tradition, produced by Dr Lucy Durán as part of the ‘Growing into Music in Mali’ project, gives many candid and unique insights into oral transmission as it was decades ago in rural Mali.

The Voice of Tradition
The Voice of Tradition: Bako Dagnon and family

The film focuses on one of Mali’s most iconic and revered singers, Bako Dagnon, who passed away aged only 62. Musicians such as Ali Farka Touré and Rokia Traoré were inspired by her voice, which was not only beautiful, but carried great authority.

The judges said the film was “A very assured piece of work,” and “engaging, entertaining and interesting from start to finish.”

The prize includes £2000 for future film making activities. The event was attended by film critics, industry experts and senior academics. The awards attracted nearly 200 entries across the five categories. Entries included reconstructions and enactments, animations, installations and gallery pieces, music videos, documentaries, as well as co-produced work including collaborations with community groups.