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News WW2 documentary makes waves at radio awards

Students have earned industry recognition for a moving documentary inspired by the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands.

Kelvin Andrews and Chris Steers at the Student Radio Awards
Image: Kelvin Andrews and Chris Steers at the Student Radio Awards

Judging by the incredible response from the industry and the University there is a general desire to hear what else we are going to produce, which is really nice to know.

Chris Steers, BA (Hons) Film, Television and Radio

Chris Steers and Kelvin Andrews, both studying BA (Hons) Film, Television and Radio at Staffordshire University, won silver in the Best Speech Category at the Student Radio Awards this month.

For five years the Channel Islands became the only part of the British Isles to be Occupied by the Germans during World War 2 and ‘Love, Art and Radio Resistance’ tells the tale of two women who launched a fearless yet silent campaign to undermine the regime.

Chris, who manages student radio station OMG, explained: “The inspiration for the documentary came from my family’s connection to the Channel Islands. My Great Great Uncle Harry used to be the lighthouse keeper at La Corbière on Jersey after the war and he used to park his car in a German bunker outside the keeper’s cottage.  

“I spoke with Kelvin about the history of the Channel Islands, in particular the Nazi Occupation, which was a time when people were not allowed to express themselves. Previously Kelvin was unaware about the Occupation, as are most people it seems, so we wanted to tell that story.”

The pair’s research initially focused on the use of radio as a resistance tool during the Occupation which drew them towards two French ladies who had retired on Jersey just before the war, Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe.

Kelvin said: “Lucy and Suzanne were both Jewish and Lesbian but amazingly decided to stay on Jersey during the Occupation. They were part of the Parisienne surrealist art movement during the 1920s and this intensely progressive way of looking at the world was the very antithesis of the Nazi ideal.

“They transcribed BBC radio broadcasts from a hidden set and placed disruptive messages and art in the pockets of German troops. We were tremendously inspired by their story and this drove the documentary.”

The Student Radio Awards brings together the entire industry to celebrate the best in student radio across the UK. Chris also won one of the biggest accolades of the night which recognises unique radio creativity among all the entries - the Kevin Greening Award for Creativity.

He said: “To win Silver in the Best Speech category was already an amazing achievement. Judging by the incredible response from the industry and the University there is a general desire to hear what else we are going to produce, which is really nice to know.

“I’d like to thank our contributors and, in particular, tutors Louise Clarke- Rowbotham and Gavin Samways for pushing us the extra mile!”

Chris North from North Media Talent, who was on the judging panel, said: “This is exactly what the industry is looking for! Congratulations. The standard for this award is very high.”

Find more information about ‘Love, Art and Radio Resistance’ on the OMG website here.

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