Prize for Film and TV Studies Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

19 April 2023

UQ is set apart from the crowd with a Film and Television Studies Major that explores Film and TV theories, history, and aesthetics. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Valerie Joy Prize, which, since 2013 has recognised outstanding Film and Television Studies students who have achieved academic excellence across various courses.

The prize is presented by Ms Valerie Joy, who graduated from UQ in 1963 with a Bachelor of Social Studies. With this annual prize, she wishes to foster and encourage the development of tomorrow's film enthusiasts. "By creating this Prize, I have been fortunate to meet many fascinating young students and learn about the transformative power of film." says Ms Joy.

On the 10th anniversary, this year's winners are Ethan Pratap, Chelsea Malunga, Catherine Li, Alexandra McFarland, and Lily Smith. UQ congratulates these students on their hard work and academic excellence, and we look forward to seeing where the future leads them.

On behalf of the Film and Television Studies academic staff, Senior Lecturer Dr Lisa Bode feels incredibly grateful for the awareness Valerie's gift has brought to the discipline.

“It is wonderful to see our field given the recognition it deserves, and the prize money gives validation to our students in their choice of Major, just before they go off to accomplish great things in the world with what they have learned,” Dr Lisa Bode said.

“Just as important as the prize and the money in my view: they get to meet and have coffee with Valerie herself, learn about her incredible life and career, and come away inspired for the possibilities of their own futures.”

Left to right: Valerie Joy, Lily Smith, Ethan Pratap, Chelsea Malunga

In the Bachelor of Arts, students can choose to Major in Film and Television Studies, where they’ll learn from various lecturers on subjects such as Cinema History, Film Movement & Genres, and Contemporary Theories.

We spoke with two of the 2023 award winners, Lily Smith (Bachelors of Arts/Laws (Honours) and Chelsea Malunga (Bachelor of Arts/Journalism), about their time in UQ’s Film and TV Studies and what it means for them to be acknowledged by this award.

Prize recipient Chelsea Malunga expresses her gratitude and enthusiasm for the prize as she said, “Being acknowledged by the Valerie Joy Award is exciting and feels very rewarding. I’m glad to know that my work has reached a standard to be recognised, and it’s great to see that the area of Film and TV is celebrated at UQ. Meeting with Valerie also opened my eyes to the wider film society that we have in Brisbane and Australia.”

Lily describes Film and TV Studies at UQ as an empowering experience saying, “I have felt empowered to embrace my creativity and learn about so many unique and interesting themes and ideas, as well as having the opportunity to delve deeper into topics that interest me.”

In turn, Chelsea also shared her experience within the course: "I've really enjoyed learning about the history of Film and TV, and learning how closely connected it is to the development of culture and society. This program has helped me to understand how important Film and TV Studies is and the far-reaching impact that it can have.”

When we asked Lily what her advice is to future students considering studying Film and Television Studies at UQ, she responded, “To future students considering the Major, I say go for it! If Film and Television Studies interests you, you won't regret challenging yourself and taking up the Major. There is something for everyone and you will be supported every step of the way by incredibly talented and engaging staff.”

By Jasmine Deetlefs