Rowenna is a filmmaker from Burnley, Lancashire, who has directed and produced several short documentaries. On the film festival circuit, she won the award of Best Female Director for her first film, ‘Goodnight, Friend’ (2018) and Best Short Film for ‘We Are All Migrants’ (2019).
Having taken up music as a child, she went on to study Music and Music Technology at college. It was during this time that she was first introduced to the work of the great Russian composers, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky and she began to develop a greater interest in Russian history.
In 2001, Rowenna went to live on the beautiful Scottish East Coast as she began her degree in Russian and Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. She spent 5 happy years studying there, staying on to complete an MLitt in Central and East European Studies. After leaving St Andrews, she wanted to spend more time in Russia developing her language skills and exploring this fascinating country. She worked for the British Council in the city of Samara for a year before going on to travel across Russia on the Trans-Siberian railway.
Having returned to the UK, Rowenna began a PhD in Sociology at the University of Warwick, with a focus on nationalism in Russia, which saw her return to Russia to conduct 6 months of fieldwork in St Petersburg. She got her PhD in 2011 and then spent several years as a Social Science researcher in universities working on large EU-funded collaborative projects, which allowed her to hone her skills in interviewing. In 2016, Rowenna became a British Science Association Media Fellow, which gave her the exciting opportunity to undertake a secondment with Channel 4 News. She went to study at the Northern Film School in Leeds, graduating in 2018 with an MA in Documentary Filmmaking. In 2019, Rowenna returned to the world of academic research in order to work on the StoryLab project with Erik Knudsen, which took her to Colombia, Ghana and Malaysia to film interviews for a short documentary on research impact.Contact