News: 2017 MA Graduate Paul Zhou Wins Student Award at the 2018 One World Media Awards


On Monday night, our 2017 MA graduate Paul Zhou won the Student Award at the One World Media Awards, making it three wins in a three consecutive years in the category for the Open City Docs UCL MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film programme. 

Open City Docs School is delighted to announce 2017 MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film graduate Paul Zhou as the winner of this year’s Student Award at the 2018 One World Media Awards for his graduation film China In Ethiopia.

He was presented with the award by freelance TV producer and director Jane Drinkwater (pictured) at last night’s awards ceremony celebrating journalistic excellence in international media coverage of the developing world.

Paul is the third Open City Docs MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film graduate to receive the award in three consecutive years, after Minmin Wu’s win in the category for her film Waste in 2017, and Fernando González Mitjans’ win for his film Limpiadores in 2016.

His winning film, China In Ethiopia, follows two men working for a Chinese manufacturing company in Ethiopia. Young Ethiopian translator Seifu and homesick Chinese resources purchaser Lei Zhang have completely different backgrounds and personalities, but they have the same goal; to earn more money for their family.

Paul Zhou was one of 52 who formed the third cohort of Masters students in UCL’s growing MA in Ethnographic & Documentary Film, run by Open City Docs. His film exemplifies the kind of work the MA’s tutors set out to encourage – rooted in the lively intellectual culture of a great research university but made with the highly personal voice and cinematic vision of the filmmaker himself.

Paul Zhou said: “I want to thank UCL, Open City Docs, and my tutors that helped develop my film. I made this film to address the influence that increasing investment from China is having on Africa. I focused on both a Chinese and an Ethiopian worker in a Chinese manufacturing company to expose the real situation of the relationships between those two countries, and how it is affecting Ethiopia, and China.”

Michael Stewart, founder of Open City Docs and the MA course leader, said: “It is such good news that a student on the UCL MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film has won this prize in competition against so many others, including films made on two year and longer programs. The fact that this is the third year in a row that one of our students has won this precious award shows once again that our students and their mentors are doing something right. I am sure that this is linked to working from within a great research university which raises the sights and ambitions of our students.”

Celebrating their 30th year, the prestigious One World Media Awards took place at BAFTA, and was hosted this year by Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The ceremony saw some of the world’s finest journalists, reporters and filmmakers – past, present and future – gather to celebrate the industry’s achievements.

Focused on highlighting the vital role journalists and filmmakers have in increasing cultural understanding and supporting equality and justice worldwide, the One World Media Awards have set an industry gold standard for media professionals reporting in, on and from the developing world, throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the post-Soviet states.