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KU graduate’s film showcased in Berlin

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A KU student showcased her graduate film at a leading European film festival.

A Kingston University student showcased film inspired by her brother’s death at the 26th REC Filmfestival in Berlin.

Chiemi Shimada, 26, made her graduation film, Fragments, using a doll house to approach the theme of death and observation that earned her a first in Filmmaking BA this summer from Kingston.

“I always wanted to work on death as a theme since I lost one of my family members 10 years ago, but I didn’t think I was ready to face it. I am still trying to keep some distance from it but hopefully I can make some steps in future,” said Shimada.

A current postgraduate student at Kingston also took inspiration from forensic photography at a crime scene exhibition she visited in New York in 2016.

Shimada then built on the concept by researching on death as her dissertation topic and eventually got inspired by photos of the crime scene dioramas by the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.

Alphonse Bertillon’s bird’s eye view photography specifically caught my eye and I vaguely thought of making a film about crime scene,” said Shimada.

For Shimada this was not just the first time that she submitted a film at a festival but also the first time she ever attended an event like this.

She flew down to the festival and got to watch her film after several months of its completion with a vast audience.

“The best thing was that I got to see all the other great films and gain contacts of many aspiring filmmakers. I was really inspired by their work. It was totally an amazing experience,” she said.

The REC Filmfestival celebrates the talent of young filmmakers and has grown in size over the years by encouraging international participants to use the platform as an early stepping stone in their careers.

While Shimada independently came up with such a unique concept for her film, she believes it was the support she got at Kingston University and her brother’s early influence in her life that helped her in achieving such heights.

“I was not a film person at all when I was little. At the age of 15, my brother made me watch A Clockwork Orange and other Kubrick’s films and I realised that there are different films out there rather than just fun films,” she said.

Shimada now wants to approach social and political subjects that the world is facing through her films.

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