Kuala Lumpur StoryLab Research Network Workshop Success

StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Session

StoryLab International Film Development Research Network ran its first workshop in Kuala Lumpur between the 14th and 16th June 2017. The workshop was hosted by FINAS at their Content Malaysia Pitching Centre in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We had a wonderful team of 13 participants of varying ages and experience. Some participants were experienced producers and screenwriters with several feature films to their credit, while others were very new to the art and cast of filmmaking. This mixture of experience proved particularly fruitful in our discussions. The workshop was run by Erik Knudsen, Nico Meissner, Sara Kuntoh and Carolina Patiño. Participants included Nik Jasmine Hew, Irene Yap, Ashleigh Chun-Ling Lim, Liyana Noor Effendi, Faqihin Fazlin, Brenda Dankar, Nurul Jannah Nordin, Remy Eldhani, Mei Yee Hooi, Rob Nevis, Luqman Ghazali, Syed Hafiz, Mohammad Thaaqhib Mohammed. Filming the proceedings we were pleased to be joined by Emmy and Izny.

The workshop had a particular approach and structure and allowed for very personalised development and engagement. What was particularly successful about the workshop was how participants were able to share and discuss their stories, which were often intimate stories rooted in personal experiences. We set up a private Facebook Group which was used live during our sessions. This is a group that will also be used once we move on to working with our participants in Accra and Ibagué. The idea is that eventually, this Facebook Group will facilitate discussions between filmmakers and writers from across continents who have all been through the same workshop experience. We are very much looking forward to seeing the results of these interactions.

StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Session
Jannah contemplating her story.
StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Session
Faqihim telling us his story.








StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Session
Irene and Brenda take a break.
StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Session
Some of the most experienced participants, Rob, Mei Yee, Brenda and Ashleigh.








In the course of the workshop, a number of powerful stories emerged. Stories rooted in the experiences of participants and finding expression in exciting narrative forms from documentary, fiction, animation to photography. Almost the entire workshop was filmed and we will be editing this together as a part of our analysis of the ‘raw data’ and the completed documentary emerging out of this will, in effect, constitute the StoryLab project’s report.

We look forward to continuing developing the cinematic stories with our new friends from Kuala Lumpur.

StoryLab Kuala Lumpur Film Development Workshop Now Open For Registrations

We’re excited to announce that the first of three StoryLab international film development workshops to be run as part of the AHRC funded StoryLab International Film Development Research Network has been confirmed and is ready for registrations. The workshop provides a unique opportunity for Malaysia based filmmakers to participate in the development of film project ideas as part of a university research project run out of the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. The workshop will be led by a prominent group of international filmmaker-academics, Professor Erik Knudsen, Dr Nico Meissner, Dr Carolina Patiño and Sarah Kuntoh.

KL StoryLab Workshop Ad

For further details, visit the StoryLab Kuala Lumpur and if you’re interested in participating Bookings are now open.

Erik Knudsen Joins The University of Central Lancashire


We’re very pleased to announce that on the 1st July 2016, Erik Knudsen joined the School of Film, Media and Performance in the College of Culture and Creative Industries at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, United Kingdom, as a Professor of Media Practice. This is an exciting new opportunity for him to be part of shaping an ambitious aspiration within the College to grow and develop creative practice research and he looks forward to playing a leading role in these developments. He will be working closely with the Dean, Dr Andrew Ireland, the Director of Research for the College, Professor Paul Egglestone, and the Head of the School of Film, Media and Performance, John Holloway, and will be based in The Media Factory, which houses and impressive range of programmes in the creative and cultural industries. He will be joining a large team of colleagues working across a range of creative practices covering film, media, screenwriting, animation, performance, fine art, journalism and more. He is also looking forward to rooting his own practice within a developing practice focused research culture and working in an institution based in the North West of England, home to some of the most vibrant creative communities in the UK.

Carolina Patiño gains her Doctorate

Carolina Patiño

Congratulations to Carolina Patiño for successfully defending her PhD thesis to gain a Doctorate. Carolina gained her PhD from University of Salford, where she also gained her Masters Degree a number of years ago. Her PhD thesis title was Exploring the formal and informal distribution mechanism for Colombian documentary films. This pioneering work further emphasis Carolina’s position as one of the foremost academics in documentary film practices and their contexts in Colombia.

Network Members Meet at Bournemouth University

Professor Erik Knudsen was pleased to initiate the StoryLab International Film Development Workshop by inviting Dr Nico Meissner, Sarah Kuntoh and Susana Ortiz Obregon to Bournemouth. Members were introduced to each other and a series of meetings took place in which the project plan was developed.

StoryLab Network Team in Bournemouth
From left to right: Erik Knudsen, Sarah Kuntoh, Susana Obregon and Nico Meissner.

We discussed in detail the purpose of the network, its remit and aims and objectives. We compared notes about the context in each country and discussed how we were going to communicate and, importantly, disseminate our research findings and how we were going to engage with the wider filmmaking and research communities. From these discussions we were able to sketch out a detailed plan for each workshop, as well as discuss a range of issues around documentation, data storage and ethical issues.

An important aspect of what we discussed concerned reach and diversity. We are conscious of the fact that these workshops are taking place in capital cities and that the very nature of democratisation of the moving image medium does involve the idea of regionalisation, cultural and linguistic diversity and, indeed, the subversion of traditional film institutions and structures. These all pose very interesting questions, some of which can be addressed in our work and methodologies, but some of which are going to require further separate exploration. We may well develop a follow on project to address some of these issues around diversity.

The StoryLab Network team during a break
The StoryLab Network members during a break.

During the week, we were also able to bring together a number of colleagues from the Faculty of Media and Communications at Bournemouth University who have an interest in story and narrative development in film, particularly in relation to international engagement. We had a very stimulating afternoon of sharing and discussing issues around story and story development for film across the world. The StoryLab guest members were able to brief Bournemouth colleagues on the filmmaking situation in each of the participating countries and it was very interesting to observe differences and similarities across continents. This project is particularly concerned with independent filmmaking and it is interesting to see how much is changing across continents and how these changes are leading to diverse film cultures that nevertheless share a number of aspirations and emerging working practices.

StoryLab members join Bournemouth University colleagues for discussion
StoryLab members join colleagues from the Faculty of Media and Communications at Bournemouth University for discussion.

No visit to Bournemouth would be complete without a visit to the beach and pier. In fact, for both Sarah Kuntoh and Susana Oregon, this was a first visit to Bournemouth (for Susana a first visit to the UK).

StoryLab members relaxing down by the Bournemouth pier.
StoryLab members relaxing down by the Bournemouth Pier.

The next stage of the process involves further development of the detailed workshops, work on attracting participants in each of the countries and finalising contractual agreements between participating institutions. The first workshop is planned for Bogotá in March 2016, which will be followed by the Kuala Lumpur workshop in July 2016 and the Accra workshop in September 2017. The project concludes with a symposium at Bournemouth University in June 2017. During the project, you will be able to visit this site to engage with progress and developments and to communicate with the project. There will also be opportunities for you to engage with the debates emerging out of the projects.

More soon.

Nico Meissner joins Griffith University in Brisbane

Nico Meissner

Congratulations to Nico Meissner, who will be joining Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, in January 2016. Luckily for our project, StoryLab International Film Development Research Network, this is not going to impact on the delivery of our project in Kuala Lumpur. Nico will still be attached to Multimedia University for research purposes, including continuing to supervise some PhD students, and this enables us to continue to deliver this and the other workshops as planned.