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Top accolade for University of Chichester film student

A PROMISING filmmaker who studied at the University of Chichester has received a top accolade at an international awards ceremony.

Alumna Boryana Dzhivdzhanova was praised by judges from the Guild of Television Camera Professionals (GTC) for her cinematography on drama short Relevé, which tells the story of a girl who finds solace in dancing after being racially-targeted on arriving in the UK.

The former Chichester student, who originates from Bulgaria, had worked on the movie as part of her final-year dissertation for an undergraduate degree in Digital Film Production and Screenwriting.

She said: “The film it tells the story of Mia who, inspired by her grandmother, decides to embrace her own cultural heritage instead of trying to fit into a new community.”

Boryana was given the runners-up trophy in the Bill Vinten university awards category, at the GTC’s annual ceremony last week, and will also start work experience at the BBC, paid-for by the award.

Giving advice to future filmmakers and students, she added: “Just work hard, trust yourself, and get involved in any project that is interesting to you – above all do you best, have fun, and enjoy it.”

The 22-year-old spent the last year studying at the University’s new £35million Tech Park, which brings together degrees in engineering as well as creative and digital technologies to create a new area of academia focused on STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

The development houses the University’s department of Creative and Digital Technology, which has an international reputation as a provider of world-leading degree courses in film, animation, special effects, gaming, as well as screenplay and score writing.


Senior lecturer Darren Mapletoft, who taught Boryana for three years, said: “We are very proud of Boryana for receiving the award. She was a very dedicated and hard working student and always stepping up for extra curricular filming opportunities. She will make the best of her time with the BBC and I can’t wait to see what she does after that.”

Chichester was a perennial winner at the awards, claiming third place in the Bill Vinten GTC university trophy for excellent teaching of camerawork and craft skills within UK educational establishments.

Awards organiser Alan Duxbury said: “The judges were impressed with Boryana’s camerawork and said the compositions were gorgeous, the lighting subtle when needed, and gloriously bold in the dance sequences. It’s a tremendous achievement for Boryana and receiving this award is an indication of her potential as a filmmaker.”

A number of films by its student, also submitted to the award, received high-praise from judges, including the documentary Anaesthetise: Following the life of John Frost, who became tragically paralysed, and his wife Renate as they continue to find happiness in the face of adversity.

Another University film commended was Out of Water, a moving drama about Alex, a young adult on the autism spectrum, discovering the truth behind her absent father and lack of a sibling.

For more about courses provided by the University of Chichester’s department of Creative and Digital Technology go to More about the GTC awards can be found at