GCU student wins second prize for short documentary in prestigious writing competition

Fri, 28 May 2021 16:19:00 BST
(Pictured above) 2nd year Media and Communications student Catalina Nieto
(Pictured above) 2nd year Media and Communications student Catalina Nieto

A Media and Communications student has been awarded Second Prize for her submission into the UK PRME Writing Competition – a prestigious academic writing competition open to Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.

2nd year Media and Communications student Catalina Nieto has been awarded second place in the Alternative Media Category, which comes with a £300 prize. Catalina entered with her short video documentary which explores a new method of sustainable farming and agriculture.

We spoke to Catalina about her documentary and why she decided to enter the PRME Writing Competition:

Could you tell us the title of your project and the process behind entering it into the PRME Writing Competition - how did it come about?

“The title of my project, a short video documentary, is 'Regenerative agriculture', which is a practice still fairly unknown, completely respectful of the environment and scalable to the whole planet.

My lecturers posted on the announcements page on GCU Learn at the end of January about the possibility of doing a video for the Alternative Media Category of the PRME Competition by the end of February. I was feeling like university online wasn't enough, it didn't take up much of my time and sustainability is an issue I am deeply concerned about. There wasn't a lot of time to think about it, because I had to hand it out in less than a month. What really pushed me to do it was seeing that I could choose any subject on sustainability.

I decided to focus on the food production system, since it is one of the most damaging to the planet at the moment. I'm a vegetarian too, so it hits close to home. I discovered regenerative farming, which I didn't know about before.

Someone gave me the idea of actually visiting a regenerative farm here in my home city Madrid, Spain so I could film it all myself and use original footage for the video. I wasn't sure if there were any since it isn't a well-known practice and only found in Australia. Luckily I did find one and it was really, really rewarding to see one for myself and learn there, especially after seeing hundreds of videos on Youtube, essays and podcasts. It felt real, and I saw it is actually something possible to do which doesn't quite sink in just learning through videos.”

How does it feel knowing that you made it to the final of the competition and that you received second place in the 'alternative media' category?

“It feels really good to know that I made it to the final and got the second prize. It shows that hard work really pays off! I put a lot of time and effort into it, so I feel fulfilled by this. Any hard work should be rewarded, really.”

Would you encourage other students to enter in future?

“I would definitely encourage other students not only to enter the competition, but in general to carry out projects of their own. Being rewarded by the competition feels great, but really it's all about the experience and learning, so if there's any subject you're passionate about, create something with it.

You will discover things you didn´t know about, and you'll spread the message.”

Find out more about the PRME Writing Competition on their website

By Rachael McAlonan

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