Documentary film by Coventry University lecturer gets world premiere

University news

Wednesday 07 September 2011

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A documentary made by a senior lecturer from Coventry University is to have its world premiere at the West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival in Birmingham later this month.

Ken Fero, who lectures in Media Production, enlisted the help of several Coventry University students to work on the broadcast documentary ‘Defeat of the Champion.’

The media production students worked as production assistants and as the second camera unit gaining valuable experience.

It is the first time that the region has hosted The Human Rights Film Festival and its aim is to screen a range of films that investigate the notion of human rights in the 21st Century as measured against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As well as films, the festival will have a wide selection of specially invited guest speakers ranging from film-makers to commentators, academics and campaigners.

‘Defeat of the Champion’ is a 25-minute-long documentary which looked at the controversy surrounding the erection of a number of CCTV cameras for ‘Project Champion’ - a police anti-terrorist initiative. The placing of the 200 cameras incensed members of the communities, as well as civil rights activists, and the documentary is the story of how the cameras were successfully opposed.

The documentary, directed by Ken Fero and Tariq Mehmood, will be screened on Wednesday 28 September at 8pm in the Birmingham Library Theatre, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham.

It will be followed by a panel discussion with contributions from Ken Fero and Steve Jolly, an active campaigner against CCTV.

Ken Fero said:

The documentary has been tagged by the festival organisers as a ‘highlight’ of the festival because at the time, the cameras caused a great deal of controversy in two districts of Birmingham.

The ‘ring of steel’ that was placed around a largely Muslim area was cancelled after civil liberties campaigners complained but there was outrage once it emerged that the project was being paid for from a national counter-terrorism grant.

The West Midlands Human Rights Film Festival takes place between 6 September and 4 October

'Defeat of the Champion' was commissioned by PressTV and will be broadcast on Sky later this year.

Further details of the Festival can be found at


For further information, contact Ali Bushnell, External Press and Media Relations Officer on +44 (0)24 7688 8245 or email


The media production students involved in the making of the documentary were:

Alex Ciocan, Alex Hacking, Jake Humbles, Stanley Lau, Leanne Matthews, Faye Minster, Yasmin Muat, Bashir Yusuf, James Colley, Michael Peace and David Toms.