FIVE Bachelor of Communication students from the University of Newcastle have been selected for an international media internship to film a documentary in France from July 19-29 on the ‘Festival Les Cultures du Monde’.  

Working alongside media production lecturer Dr Vikrant Kishore, the students will travel to Gannat, a small village five hours from Paris, to capture the Festival of World Cultures.

The ten-day festival is organised by the French National Association of Cultures and Traditions to celebrate and preserve international folk heritage. The festival is one of the largest gatherings of folk performers in the world and attracts around 65,000 people.

Along with filming their own documentary, the students will also be working with French media and assisting them with the coverage of the festival.

Dr Kishore has been associated with the festival for the past 20 years, and said he is
looking forward to the students gaining media experience on an international scale.

“I think this is an excellent opportunity for the students of the University of Newcastle to experience the diverse cultures of the world all in one place,” Dr Kishore said.

“The documentary aims to capture how the Festival has become a site for cultural intermingling and globalisation, but still enables an understanding and provides encouragement in sustaining and protecting cultural heritages,” he said. 

“The students will be invited and hosted by local families for lunch and dinner in and around Gannat, which will give them a glimpse of the French countryside living and culture.”  

Head of the School for Design, Communication and Information Technology, Dr Anne Llewellyn, said the University hoped the international experience would help the students in their future careers.

“Technology has changed the way our graduates work and the professions they enter can no longer be viewed as having a purely local focus. I hope this opportunity to engage with international organisations will open up further pathways,” Dr Llewellyn said.

Final year Bachelor of Communication student Luke Ryan said he was looking forward to the thrill of working in a foreign place with people from all over the world.

“The thing that excites me so much is getting the chance to really apply what I’ve learnt throughout my course in such an eclectic cultural melting pot,” Mr Ryan said.

Filmmaker at global film festival - by Shelby Houghton, Newcastle Herald
Bon Voyage! We’re off to France – Maitland Mercury