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The MIPMC Research Group at Northumbria University provides a hub for staff and postgraduate researchers who are engaged with the analysis of the moving image and popular media in all its forms, from theoretical, historical, practice-based, industrial and empirical/sociological perspectives
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Len Collin | Senior Lecturer in Film and TV Production

Overview of Research Interests
Len’s research interests are around making films that reflect on social issues in today’s world – in particular, how fiction films can support and strengthen the work of documentarians and vice versa. In 2016 Len directed the feature film Sanctuary which employed the authentic casting of actors with disabilities. Using the medium of a Romantic Comedy, the film challenged an unjust law in Ireland Section 5 of the Criminal law Act 1993 (Sexual Offences) that criminalised the act of love making between consenting adults who have intellectual disabilities. The law was repealed in 2017 due to the impact of the film and its ability to be used by long time campaigners as a tool for the implementation of change. This was followed up by a feature Documentary in the form of an Academic Essay entitled Altered Thinking which contextualised the representation of people with disabilities in a film and television context. Len is currently working on a series of interviews around the subject of the lives of people with learning disabilities with the current title of “Inaudible”. In development is “Iron Harvest” a film that centres on LGBTQ themes and is an adaptation of Len’s award winning play “Box”.

Qualifications
Len is a PhD candidate. He has an MA in Producing and Directing from the Huston Film School NUIG.

Professional Affiliations
Member of the HEA
Member WGGB
Member of British Actors Equity
Len has been a screenwriter for over thirty years on many UK and Irish TV shows. Working for the BBC, ITV, RTE and many independent film companies.
Part of the BAFTA award winning writing team on Eastenders and the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain award winning team on The Bill
Director of Sanctuary 2016
Al at Huston Film School 2013 – 2014
Freelance screenwriter (1991 – present day) – credits include: Deception (2013) TV3 Ireland, The Bill (1991 – 2009) Thames TV, Ultimate Force Bentley Productions 2002 – 2005, Holby City BBC (1999-2008), Eastenders BBC (1994 – 2002) London’s Burning LWT (1998 – 2001) Soldier Soldier Central TV (1994 – 1997)

Publications
‘Shooting Actors with Intellectual Disabilities’ in Katarzyna Ojrzynska and Maciej WiecZorek, Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture (Leiden: Brill, 2020)

Screenings
Sanctuary screened at:
TAPE – One Film Film Festival Wales (2021)
What’s The DIFF – Deakin University, Melbourne (2020)
University of São Paulo- Symposium of Irish Studies in South America (2020)
UK wide Theatrical release late 2017 – 2018 – screenings Manchester, London, Belfast, Birmingham, Newcastle etc
Breaking Down Barriers International Film Festival Moscow (2018)
Inclus IFF Barcelona (2018)
Reelabilities LA, USA (2018)
Reelabilities Boston (2018)
EU Film Festival Amman, Jordan (2018)
EU Film Festival Beirut, Lebanon (2018)
EU Film Festival Singapore (2018)
EU Film Festival Nairobi, Kenya (2018)
Bosifest, Bosnia (2018)
Irish film Festival, Chicago, USA (2018)
Glasgow International Film Festival (2018)
Irish Film Festival Tour Warsaw, Poznan, Lodz (2018)
Downtown Cairo Film Festival, Cairo, Egypt (2018)
25th Camerimage IFF Bydgosz Poland(2017)
Bentonville IFF USA (2017)
Jerusalem Cinematheque film Festival (2017)
British and Irish Film Festival, Luxembourg (2017)
Newport Beach IFF, CA, USA (2017)
Reelabilities New York (2017)
Film Festa Irelanda, Rome, Italy (2017)
Dublin International Film Festival (2017)
Galway Film Fleadh (2016)

Recent Conferences & Talks
Moscow NGO teleconference on Inclusion, February 2021
Breaking Down Barriers IFF, Moscow, November 2020 – Led Panel on Disability Representation
Q and A University of Sao Paulo – Symposium of Irish Studies in South America
Q and A What’s the DIFF – Melbourne, Australia 2020

External funding/research grants
Irish Film Board / BAI / RTE – Grants for Sanctuary made to Zanzibar films Circa €750,000

Awards
All for Sanctuary –
BEST FEATURE FILM 2018 – MOSCOW, 9th Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival
BEST IRISH FILM 2017 – Dublin Film Critics Circle
BEST IRISH FILM 2017 – Irish Times Reader’s Poll (Ticket Awards)
BEST DIRECTOR Newport Beach Film Festival US

Links to videos of relevant research work
Sanctuary –
https://vimeo.com/user2823780/room220
Altered Thinking –
https://vimeo.com/479650283

Email
len.collin@northumbria.ac.uk