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Media Arts PhD student wins Innovation Award

  • Date10 November 2017

PhD student Iris Zaki wins Innovation Award for revolutionary documentary

PhD student Iris Zaki in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London has won the Innovation Award at the Research in Film Awards for her film Women in Sink. Zaki used an innovative technique of her own devising, which she has named ‘the abandoned camera’, that allows her to film open conversations within closed communities.

Marc Isaacs, Iris' PhD supervisor, said: "Since making her short film in a Kosher Hotel in North London as part of her Masters degree, Iris has made giant strides with Shampoo Summit (aka Women in Sink) and her yet to be released work, which was filmed on a settlement in the occupied territories. All three films are infused with humour, pathos and vibrancy. Iris has a love for the people she films which rubs off on an audience. You might not agree with her protagonists but you can't ignore them."

The Shampoo Summit - Iris Zaki

AHRC announced Iris' win at an awards ceremony on 9 November


Personal stories shared over shampoo 

Working in a hair salon owned by a Christian Arab in Haifa, Israel, Iris installed a camera over a basin and chatted to clients about topics including Israeli history, politics, life and love as she was shampooing their hair.

More awards

In 2015, Women in Sink won the Most Innovative Film award in The International Mid-Length Film competition at Visions du Reel film festival in Nyon, Switzerland.

Zaki also won the Sky Atlantic Best Student Documentary category of The Grierson Trust’s 2016 Awards for Women in Sink. The Trust described her film as painting “an unexpected choral portrait of this space that provides temporary freedom, where Arab and Jewish women share their differences and a community of views on politics, history and love.”

Watch a short clip of the documentary or read more about Iris’ process and experience of filming Women in Sink.

Find out about undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities to study documentary making in the Department of Media Arts .


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