MEC Manchester university collaboration celebrated at annual degree show awards

MEC Manchester has celebrated a second year of creative collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), with a trio of awards honouring students at the School of Art’s annual Degree Show.

The agency was invited to a special private viewing of the show last week, ahead of its opening to the general public. Each year, the event showcases the work that’s been done in fields such as such as architecture, creative multimedia, fashion, film, graphic design, photography and interactive arts.

Graphics and illustration display in Benzie building_2Faculty of Art and Design Benzie Building exterior_2

The Manchester team, represented by Senior Content Manager Noel Mellor and Strategy Manager Dr. Helen Payne, were tasked with choosing winners across three MEC-sponsored categories. The Creativity and Innovation Award, Best in Show Award and a special Alumni Award, presented by Noel in his capacity as a former MMU student and frequent guest lecturer on the Film and Media degree course.

For Creativity and Innovation, Zen Luwe was selected for his multi-platform content work for Danish fashion outlet Rains DK and Manchester-born musician Bipolar Sunshine. According to Helen, Zen had displayed a “real passion for content production” and that his work felt “naturally rooted in the kind of socially sharable mechanisms that are so important to what we focus on as an agency these days.”

Elsewhere, the Best in Show Award was presented to Fatima Sharah for her film and photography project Stories From the Borderline. This intimate look inside the lives of refugees along the Turkish Syrian border was praised by Noel for its high quality, as well as the story behind it. “Fatima’s background and ability to speak the language so fluently has given her some fantastic access, which really came across in the interviews she conducted,” Noel explained.

Helen and Fatima SharahHelen and Zen Luwe_1

The Alumni Award was taken home by Lucy Ryan, whose two short documentaries Young at Heart and Growing Old Gracefully had particularly impressed Noel with a “sense of style and finesse that shows genuine, natural talent.” Noel added: “There’s a real demand for creative people who can deliver a fresh approach to visual storytelling in our industry – and Lucy really has what it takes to be one of them.”

Noel and Lucy Ryan

MEC’s support of the event follows a second year of close collaboration with MMU on the ‘Unit X’ module of the Film and Media degree course. The module seeks to give students an insight into the real world of media industry work and combined lectures and seminars conducted by MEC Manchester with students taking part in generator sessions for live client briefs.

Dr. Emily Brick, Programme Leader on Film and Media Studies, commented: “[The university is] extremely proud of the work our students produced. It displays the diversity of their talent and creativity. Our students have really benefitted from working with the MEC staff on live briefs. We are extremely grateful to MEC and the time and support they have given us on this project.”

The MMU School of Art’s annual Degree Show runs between June 13th and 24th and is now open to the general public.