StoryLab II Participant Information

Participant Information Sheet

The title of the research project

StoryLab Skills Training For Democratised Film Industries

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?

Building on the successful Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded StoryLab International Film Development Research Network project ( that was delivered by Professor Erik Knudsen (University of Central Lancashire, UK) and his team, Dr Nico Meissner (Griffith Film School, Australia), Dr Carolina Patiño (University of Ibagué, Colombia) and Sarah Kuntoh (National Film and Television Institute, Ghana), in the ODA countries of Malaysia, Ghana and Colombia during 2017, this proposed StoryLab Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries project will build upon and extend the experiences gained, methodologies developed and the network of independent filmmakers with whom the project engaged, to research and develop a scalable skills training strategy and framework to be rolled out across Malaysia, Ghana and Colombia. Where the AHRC network allowed us to explore the content and styles of the stories being expressed in the 3 countries, the AHRC Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement grant allows us to venture into new unexplored territory of exploring how the methodologies developed could be applied to generate direct impact through innovative skills training and understanding the importance of the role of cinematic storytelling in economic and cultural development. The AHRC Follow on Funding project focuses on one of the original countries the AHRC StoryLab Network worked in – Colombia – as a detailed case study that could be replicated and scaled.

Using interdisciplinary approaches inspired from music and anthropology, the StoryLab Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries project will utilise a methodology developed out of the AHRC funded StoryLab International Film Development Research Network entitled Ethnomediaology. Ethnomediaology is an interdisciplinary 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. In the case of skills training, it will involve the active participation of local and regional Colombian Filmmaker-Mentors, who will deliver the core workshops, the University of Ibagué and local Film Sector Partners.

The research team comprises:

Principal Investigator:Professor Erik Knudsen, Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries, University of Central Lancashire, is a filmmaker, photographer and senior research academic with many years of experience of both making films and undertaking academic research in developing countries.

Co-Investigator: Dr Nico Meissner, Senior Lecturer, Griffith Film School at Griffith University, has a PhD in the sustainability of independent filmmaking in relation to the internet and brings invaluable knowledge of the impact of the internet on storytelling modes, dissemination and employment in South East Asia.

Co-Investigator:Sandra Carolina Patiño Ospina is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Documentary Research Centre at the University of Ibagué. As one of the leading authorities on Colombian documentary, she now works extensively with documentary’s uses in the peace and reconciliation processes taking place in Colombia.

Co-Investigator: Francis Kwesi Gbormittah is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana where he has done extensive practice work as a writer and director and researched creative practice employment developments in West Africa.

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, or 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 the University of Ibagué 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 and how our mentor based approach to cinematic storytelling skills training is impacting on you. 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 of Central Lancashire in partnership with the University of Ibagué, the University of Ghana and Griffith University.

Contact for further information

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

Colombia: Dr Sandra Carolina Patiño Ospina, University of Ibagué:

Malaysia: Dr Nico Meissner, Griffith University:

Ghana: Mr Francis Kwesi Gbormittah, University of Ghana:

Principal Investigator:

Professor Erik Knudsen, University of Central Lancashire, 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 Networkproject. 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