“This is My Face” awarded the 2020 Best Practice Research Portfolio by the BAFTSS

(Photo credit: Miguel Angel Cavieres)

We are happy to announce that the work of our Research Associate Angélica Cabezas Pino has received a new award. “This is My Face” -her latest visual ethnography in the form of documentary film- has won the 2020 Moving Image – Best Practice Research Portfolio award by the British Association of Film, TV and Screen Studies (BAFTSS).

An independent panel of renowned scholars and practitioners considered a wide variety of research portfolios and films for the award. When awarding the prestigious prize, the panel stated that “This is My Face” is a “really powerful and formally innovative documentary film project […] the filmmaker provides a stellar example of how documentary practice-led research can produce emotionally moving and politically relevant films that are accessible to a discerning audience whilst also advancing film practice as an academic form of enquiry to produce a significant contribution to knowledge” (BAFTSS)

The BAFTSS panel highlighted “the close relationship and trust built up between filmmakers and their subjects. Overall an excellent film underpinned by a strong research statement”, which is central to Angelica´s research practice when working with participatory methods.

Photo by by Claudio Letelier

“This is My Face” is one of the research outcomes of Angélica´s PhD in Anthropology, Media and Performance at the University of Manchester, funded by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research, Government of Chile. As part of this research project, she explored creative visual methods as a way to confront the existential uncertainty that comes with an HIV diagnosis. For this purpose, she collaborated with people living with HIV in Chile, combining participatory autobiographical photography and reflexive practice.

The participants’ creative process was documented in film, that later became “This is My Face”, and which has received a number of academic and non-academic accolades in the UK and elsewhere. “This is my Face” was also shortlisted for the 2019 Richard Werbner Award by the Royal Anthropological Association, which described the visual ethnography as “a lesson in the power of collaborative storytelling” (RAI, 2019). This award is given to outstanding contributions to the field of Visual Anthropology produced across the world, and Angelica’s film was the only nominated work produced as part of a PhD degree.

The film is now being distributed by the Royal Anthropological Institute

Angélica Cabezas Pino is one of our Research Associate at the Storytelling Academy since last January, and she is working for our Colombian projects: PARAMO and PARAGUAS.