05 February 2010

University welcomes back international filmmaker Nick Broomfield

Colchester Campus

Acclaimed filmmaker Nick Broomfield will be at the University of Essex this month to talk about Ghosts, his harrowing film inspired by the 2004 Morecambe Bay cockle-pickers tragedy.

Nick, a graduate of the University, will discuss the film after a screening at the Colchester Campus’ Lakeside Theatre on Monday 15 February.

Released in 2006, Ghosts explores the journey made by migrant Chinese workers who risk exploitation to support families at home through unregulated, illegal work in the UK.

Based on the events of February 2004, when 23 Chinese cockle-pickers drowned off the coast at Morecombe, the film follows the story of Ai Qin, a young Chinese single mother from Fujian province. Referred to by The Independent as ‘surprising in its intensity and compassion,’ Ghosts raises important issues about 21st century slavery.

Nick, who has a BA Politics from Essex and collected an honorary degree in July 2006, is best known for documentary filmmaking. His films, which include the critically-acclaimed Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer, have explored subjects ranging from racism in South Africa to the hip-hop gang rivalry in the US which culminated in the murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G (aka Biggie Smalls) in 1997.

Nick said he was delighted to be returning to Essex as it was responsible for getting him started in film-making.

‘The University was very supportive of students doing their thesis in different ways and it gave me the opportunity of doing a film about slum clearance in Liverpool,’ he explained.

The screening of Ghosts coincides with an exhibition at the University’s gallery exploring mobility, migration and the journeys people make around the world, either by choice, chance or forced exile. Dislocated Journeys brings together a selection of recent works which address the issues of identity inherent in mobility and migration while recognising the creative possibilities that travel in a global age can bring. It will be at the University Gallery until 20 February.

Ghosts will be screened at the Lakeside Theatre on Monday 15 February at 7.30pm and will be followed by a talk and discussion with Nick Broomfield. Admission is free but places should be reserved. See: www.essex.ac.uk/artson5

Notes to editors
For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529, e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.
For further information about Nick Broomfield and his films see: www.nickbroomfield.com/home.html.

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