Barbara Santi


Telephone: 0781 210 1388 

College: College of Humanities
Discipline: Film Studies
Department: English
Research Centre/Unit: Humanities, Penryn Cornwall

I am a documentary filmmaker using film, digital technology and storytelling for social change. During my eighteen year film practice I have screened films on Channel 4, Carlton TV, FourDocs, Current TV, The Community Channel, art galleries/museums, conferences, film festival platforms and toured the length and breadth of Cornwall promoting Cornish films in rural settings. 

Following a BA degree in Theatre, Film & TV at Royal Holloway University I started my career in London at Working Title Films.  I made my first short documentary in 1998.  In 2006 I set up awen productions CIC in West Cornwall with two other filmmakers.  Our ethos is to empower communities through the creative use of film and digital media so ordinary people can tell their story.  In 2013 our first cultural heritage app Walkabout St Ives won ‘Best App’ at the Media Innovation Awards.

I have worked extensively locally and internationally with communities and young people. At the heart of my work is to raise under-represented peoples voices through film. I have made films on subjects as diverse as rural issues, archive film, local heritage/history, human rights, youth culture, disability, farming, globalisation and the environment. My practice has developed and evolved to push the boundaries of collaboration and authorship.  I now tend to develop participatory/collaborative projects with communities to explore the film medium, concepts of place and identity and new storytelling models.  I am particularly interested in the local, rural environment.

I am passionate about archive film.  For five years I ran an archive film project funded by South West Screen / Heritage Lottery and others.  The project reached 35 communities across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly screening and making new films with archive materials.  My interest in collaborative film, creative techniques and ideas around place, identity and culture has further developed into a practice-based PhD/MPhil.  In 2015 I was awarded one of Exeter's College of Humanities Graduate School Penryn Doctoral Studentships to develop this work further (2015-18). 

In 2015 I was successful in fundraising for a 2.5-year participatory horticultural digital heritage project at Trengwainton Garden, near Penzance which is a partnership with the National Trust.  The project will produce amongst other outputs my first interactive web doc.