Two films with links to Teesside University have been showcased on an international stage after featuring in film festivals in America.
‘The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse’ and ‘Addicted to Sheep’ were both developed by people associated with the University, and had their first US screenings this month.
‘The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse’ is a feature length music documentary, directed by Alex Crowton, Senior Lecturer in Media Production at Teesside University, and close friend Bobby Dass.
The film was shown at the Chattanooga Film Festival in Tennessee earlier this month and was followed by a series of further screenings and Q&A sessions both in Chattanooga and in Athens, Georgia.
The film is about Mark Linkous, singer-songwriter and founder of the alternative rock band Sparklehorse, who battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life.
Linkous committed suicide in 2010 and the film provides a retrospective on his life.
‘Addicted to Sheep’ was made by Magali Pettier and Jan Cawood, who were both part of the DigitalCity Fellowship programme supported by Teesside University.
Matt Dennis, the Creative Director of Teesside University’s School of Arts & Media was also the film’s editor.
The award-winning film had its North America Premiere at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in Oregon.
The film has previously received regional acclaim, winning the Royal Television Society’s Regional Award for best non-broadcast factual film and has also been broadcast on BBC4.
The film documents the life of a North-East family, following them as they carry out the challenging work of sheep farming.
Director Magali also attended the event in Oregon, taking part in the Q&A after the screening.
Martin Pout, Assistant Dean (Recruitment and Widening Participation) in the School of Arts & Media, congratulated the film makers on their international screenings.
He said: “It’s an incredible accomplishment to create films which are able to be appreciated by an international audience.
“Everybody involved in creating the films spent a lot of time producing them and it’s good to see that those efforts have paid off.
“They should be proud of what they’ve done and it’s fantastic they have been given the chance to show the US just how good filmmaking is in the North East of England.”