A FORMER University of Chester student is seeing stars after he won a competition to take his latest short film to Cannes.
Sean Roach, 25, came to Chester from Seattle in 2003 and was one of the first intake of students to take the BA Journalism course at the Parkgate Road campus.
Sean said: “After university, I decided to try writing full-time. I wanted to be a foreign correspondent so I did some time in France and Egypt but came back to the States after that didn’t work out.
“I had touched on video editing during college at Chester and decided I wanted to take it a bit further.
“I thought there may be something else I could do to use the technical knowledge gained during my degree.”
Sean returned to Seattle and took a job at a local public access station where he met friend and business partner Cory Kelley.
Cory, 33, production manager at the station, introduced Sean to Jonathan Wright, 29, a theatre actor who had moved to Seattle from California.
Together they formed Footbridge Productions, producing theatre trailers, and Team Juicebox, the creative arm of the company.
“It wasn’t much money,” said Sean. “But I learned a lot; shooting, editing, lighting, interviews. Good practice.
“The break came when we decided to go all out for the 48 Hour Film Project. We competed against more than 50 teams from Seattle to make the best short film under seven minutes in 48 hours and we won with The Stray.
Sean added: “We then won the next round – The Fall Shootout – and ended up in Cannes with Lethal Cotillion.”
The team also won a documentary award last month with Ars Magna, netting a four-figure prize and national exposure when it was bought by US television network PBS.