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Emily Using Award-Winning Film to Highlight Appeal of Home City

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A student is hoping to change people’s perceptions of her home city through an award-winning short film which she produced during her time at the University of Worcester.

21 year-old Emily White, from Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton, has recently completed her Digital Film Production course at the University, and will graduate in November.

Her film – ‘Out of Darkness, Cometh Light’, which is also the city’s motto – won the Best Student Film award at the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival earlier this year, and as Emily explains, it was after enrolling on a Factual Film module midway through her second year that she was inspired to produce a film on her home city, and turn an idea into reality.

She explains: “When I was around 16 I used to make videos, and one of my hopes back then was that I’d be able to put Wolverhampton back on the map. I’d heard that it had been voted the fifth worst city in the world (by travel website Lonely Planet), and the only thing I could think was ‘it’s not that bad’.

“So I had the idea that I would make a video about all the good things in Wolverhampton, and show people that there was something to celebrate about it.

“I didn’t really know where to start though, so it kind of went on the back burner until I did the Factual Film module in my second year at Worcester. At the end of this module, we had to pitch an idea, and I thought that would be a good time to revisit my Wolverhampton project.”

Emily then returned to the Black Country to gather ideas and opinions, and film some test footage. She says she was not short of inspiration, and was particularly moved by a wall in the city centre, which is set aside for locals to write down their dreams and ambitions.

“I nearly cried,” she says. “The vast majority of things written on that wall are so sincere, and it was incredible. I decided then that this wall would be the basis for my film.

“Wolverhampton is so great because of its community. It might be the fifth worst city in the world, but it’s our fifth worst city - it’s special because it’s home.”

The messages included within Emily’s final, four-and-a-half minute production have struck a chord with people from Wolverhampton and beyond, with the film earning plenty of recognition, as well as an award.

“People who’ve seen the film come up with their own ideas about it, which I think is great. People have commented on how it could be applied to society as a whole, and how we have such a throw away culture.

“The great thing about the film is that it isn’t necessarily about Wolverhampton, but it’s about all of us; about people.

“I entered the film into Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival earlier this summer, and it won the Best Student Factual Film award, which I was over the moon about. Although the film isn’t overtly ‘radical’ or ‘political’, it does challenge our society and our attitude towards the environment we live in, which is why I wanted to enter the film."

To watch Out of Darkness Cometh Light, and to view other examples of Emily's work, visit http://emilywhitefilm.wordpress.com.