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Valentina Ippolito (DPhil Italian and Romanian Film) Becomes Deputy Leader of the Looking China Project

24th May 2016

Pembroke DPhil student Valentina Ippolito has been named the Deputy Leader of Looking China, a multidisciplinary project funded by Beijing Normal University and the Academy for the International Communication of Chinese Culture, which promotes international cultural exchange through documentary filmmaking.

The programme invites applications from international young filmmakers, asking them to depict their first experience of Chinese culture though a film based on the theme 'Charm, Ethnography, Culture'.

Valentina commented: ‘I was honoured to be named Deputy Leader of the project, as there were only ten fully funded places allocated across the UK (for students) -- I was the only successful candidate from Oxford University in a selection process that included shooting and cutting a sample short film in 24 hours.’

Having applied with a film proposal, Valentina attended an interview at the Oxford Prospects Programmes at Wolfson College. Her proposal, 'The Last Chinese Tribe Wearing Shotguns – Basha’s Miao in Guizhou', is set in the Guizhou Province in southwest China and explores the gendering of warrior culture as seen through the outsider’s lens of a European female filmmaker.

I plan to use the experience to establish some useful contacts between Pembroke and Beijing Normal University, the academic sponsor', added Valentina. 'I will also feature the film I create during my time in China in a future Film Masterclass at Pembroke, along with the short films of my cohort.’

Valentina, who is a creative filmmaker and a Higher Education lecturer, is currently studying for a DPhil in Italian and Romanian Film in the department of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. Her thesis, entitled 'Representing Romanian Migration in Contemporary Italian and Romanian Cinema', constitutes the first in-depth critical comparative study of the cinematic encounter between Romanian and Italian characters against the backdrop of the Romanian migrant experience.

Valentina also runs the Pembroke Film Masterclass series, bringing together students, academics and film critics to discuss and celebrate the art of cinema.