StoryLab Participant Information

The title of the research project

StoryLab International Film Development Research Network.

Invitation paragraph

You are being invited to take part in a research project. Before you decide, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

What is the purpose of the project?

A team of practice led researchers from leading film education institutions in each of the countries of Malaysia (Multimedia University), Ghana (National Film and Television Institute), Colombia (University of Ibague) and the UK, led by Professor Erik Knudsen from the University of Central Lancashire, will run a series of workshops for emerging independent filmmakers in developing countries on three continents. A unique feature of this network is the lateral collaboration that it will encourage between practice led film and media researchers in developing countries. This team of four researchers will collaborate with the host institutions involved to deliver these workshops over the period of the network project, followed by a summarising symposium hosted by Bournemouth University in the UK.

The Research Network will develop a methodology entitled Ethnomediaology. This is an interdisciplinary research approach inspired by practices in Ethnomusicology and Autoethnography. Ethnomediaology involves the active and immersive participation of researchers in the research culture and process, using this active personal engagement as a basis for knowledge generation, data gathering and evaluation.

The StoryLab Research Network seeks to explore the following questions: What are the consequences for the democratisation of the means of filmmaking and film dissemination on how filmmakers in the developing world tell cinematic stories? In what ways are these stories, and their mode of expression, reflecting a different perspective on living in an increasingly globalised world? In what ways may these emerging narrative developments impact cinematic storytelling in the UK and beyond?

The research team comprises:

Principal Investigator: Professor Erik Knudsen, Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries, University of Central Lancashire, is Ghanaian born, and having shot 2 films in Ghana, one of which was AHRC funded, he also has a particular interest in how film is evolving in the developing world.

Co-Investigator: Dr Nico Meissner, joined Griffith Film School in Brisbane, Australia, in January 2016. He was formerly a Senior Lecturer, Multimedia University, Malaysia, where StoryLab Kuala Lumpur will be talking place. He has a PhD in the sustainability of independent filmmaking in relation to the internet and will bring invaluable knowledge of the impact of the internet on storytelling modes and dissemination.

Participating Investigator: Sandra Carolina Patiño is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ibague and Director of the research group Documentary Colombia.

Participating Investigator: Sarah Kuntoh, Head of the Editing Unit of the Film Techniques Department, National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Accra, Ghana. She currently teaches Film Aesthetics and Art of Editing and runs the NAFTI Film Club.

Why have I been chosen?

You have been chosen to be invited to participate in these workshops because you have been identified as an emerging and/or independent filmmaker, film director or screenwriter who has expressed an interest in participating.

Do I have to take part?

No. It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep (and be asked to sign a consent form) and you can still withdraw at any point during the process without it affecting any benefits that you are entitled to in any way. You do not have to give a reason. If you withdraw, the data you have contributed to the point of withdrawal may still be used, but will be anonymised.

What do I have to do?/ what will happen to me if I take part?

You will be invited to take part in a film development workshop where, together with the research team and fellow participants, you will develop a film idea of your choosing to the outline or screenplay stage. These workshops will give you an opportunity to gain advice and feedback on your project and in this process of development and discussion, the research team will be making observations which they will assimilate and write up as notes for further discussions at a later stage. Some of these observations may be aural and/or video recordings and you may be interviewed as part of the process of gathering data. You will be invited to contribute to social media discussions and a blog once the workshop has been completed. Samples and extracts of your creative work may be quoted in subsequent presentations, publications and social media blogs.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

The main potential disadvantage of taking part in this project is if you are potentially shy about showing and discussing your work with peers. You should not partake in this project if this is an issue for you. Another potential risk of you taking part is the fact that some of your work, as aspects of your work, may become public as it is quoted or referred to in the research outcomes and debates. We can mitigate against this by anonymising you and your connection to a particular piece of work in the public domain should you wish this to be the case.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

The project is not designed to give you a defined benefit. However, by participating in this project, you are likely to gain a valuable training opportunity run by prominent teachers and practitioners. You are also likely to have an opportunity to develop a screen idea with the participation of fellow filmmakers and screenwriters. Finally, you will have an opportunity to follow the progress of the research network and to engage with other filmmakers and screenwriters attached to, or engaging with, the research project across three continents, giving you both local and global opportunities to extend your filmmaking networks.

Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?/ What will happen to the results of the research project?

The intended aims of this project are to gain knowledge and understanding. The research project has no commercial or copyright interest in anything you generate as part of the project. When agreeing to take part in this project, you will be giving the researchers consent to refer to, and quote, the work that you create as part of the workshop you participate in, as well as permission to use and present any aural and video recordings of you in the context of the project and its academic presentations. You may choose to have your contribution anonymised.

Outcomes of the project will include:

  • Journal articles in academic journals written by the research team;
  • Joint research report designed for policy makers;
  • Social media and web site/blog available to general filmmaking community;
  • Symposium held at Bournemouth University to close the project.

What type of information will be sought from me and why is the collection of this information relevant for achieving the research project’s objectives?

The researchers are interested in understanding what themes you’re interested in telling stories about, how you want to tell these stories cinematically, how you understand and wish to use the cinematic language and how you develop ideas and work creatively. Additionally, the research team will be interested in your reflections on filmmaking and its processes and your assessment of the state of filmmaking and the filmmaking form in your culture and context. The research team will want to evidence these findings by being able to refer to the work you do during your workshop, the discussions that take place and any recordings of your reflections on the issues being discussed. The research team will also be interested in your on going contribution to the debates beyond the workshop through your voluntary engagement with social media and blogs that the team will set up.

Who is organising/funding the research? (If applicable)

This research is being funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK and is managed by the University off Central Lancashire.

Contact for further information

For further information, please contact the research team member hosting the workshop in your country:

Malaysia: Dr Nico Meissner, Multimedia University:

Colombia: Carolina Patiño, University of Ibague:

Ghana: Sarah Kuntoh, National Film and Television Institute, Ghana:

Principal Investigator: Professor Erik Knudsen, Bournemouth University, UK:

Will I be recorded, and how will the recorded media be used?

Audio and/or video recordings of your activities made during research workshops will be used only for analysis and for illustration in conference presentations and lectures. No other use will be made of them without your further written permission, and no one outside the project will be allowed access to the original recordings.


Many thanks for taking the time to consider the possibility of participating in StoryLab International Film Development Research Network project. We hope that everything is clear and meets with your approval. Please feel free to discuss any outstanding issues with a member of the research team.

You will be given a copy of this information sheet and the signed consent form for your records.

Professor Erik Knudsen

University of Central Lancashire.