Students Staff

25 February 2013

Screenwriting tutor celebrates Oscar win

Colchester Campus

Experienced film and television producer and executive producer Sheryl Crown, who is also a screenwriting tutor at the Department for Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, is celebrating after the documentary film she worked on as executive producer secured an Oscar.

The documentary film Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul and produced by Simon Chinn, has already won a Bafta and numerous awards across the world including at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sheryl, managing director of The Documentary Company which produced the film in association with Red Box Films, Passion PIctures and Canfield Pictures, said: “Searching for Sugar Man is a fabulous feel-good film with a very strong story. It seemed to make perfect creative and commercial sense to invest in it.”

The film charts the story of mysterious 1970s Detroit folksinger Sixto Rodriguez. His albums enjoyed little commercial success in the United States and he vanished into obscurity amid rumours of a gruesome suicide, but in South Africa a bootleg of one of his recordings became a phenomenon. Then in the 1990s some fans decided to find out what really happened to their hero.

Sheryl said: “A lot of my students have watched the film. It shows them the importance of story, narrative drive and taking your audience on a journey. They also really enjoy the music – which shows how the film’s appeal spans the generations.”

Sheryl is an experienced film and television producer, executive producer and development executive. She has an enviable industry track record in all aspects of the production supply chain, working as an independent feature film producer earning Oscar and Bafta nominations, an Executive Producer running a feature film production fund of £2.2 million, and a development fund of £150,000 as well as a TV drama producer and BBC script editor.

As a producer she has been nominated for an Oscar before for Solomon and Gaenor in 2000. Her production consultancy Rubicon Pictures has helped develop many successful film and television productions.

Sheryl said: “I have worked in television and film for more than 25 years and I can help students develop a practical awareness of how films are made so they have an understanding of how the industry really works. That is very valuable to students so their knowledge of film is not just theoretical. ”

The Documentary Company is an EIS fund which produces new relevant topical feature and TV documentaries with universal resonance, that cross cultural boundaries and target worldwide markets. The company focuses on documentary films covering human interest, politics, music, and nature and the environment.

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