BBC My Life in the News

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NOISE artists are given access to the BBC's Creative Archive to make documentaries about life-changing events the news.

  • Type
    Documentary / Project / Workshop
  • Year

As part of the plethora of exclusive branded projects that make up the very first festival in 2006, NOISE hooks up with the BBC’s Creative Archive to give NOISE users exclusive access to a bank of ground-breaking news clips. Previously unreleased to the public, the videos represent some of the world’s most powerful news stories, including the fall of the Berlin wall and Elvis’s funeral.

NOISE Artists are invited to download a news clip to make a biographical documentary based on how that particular event shaped their lives, family or community.

The winner, selected by NOISE and the BBC, is Jessica Jane Emmet from Manchester. Jessica Jane's piece combines news footage of the Vietnamese Boat People with her own images and voice-over to create an autobiographical short film about her experiences as a refugee. Jessica's birth mother is an asylum seeker who escapes to Hong Kong after the Vietnam War. She was staying in a refugee camp when Jessica was born and had to give her up.


Jessica works for a day with the BBC News team in London and spends time with the Vietnamese BBC World Service. In addition, Jessica secures a two year residency at Let's Go Global, a Manchester based television community channel that NOISE introduced to Jessica. These outcomes help Jessica gain an insight into a highly competitive television industry. Jessica is presented with her prize at the 2006 festival launch at Urbis, and spoke to Alistair Darling MP at the NOISE Dream Job launch event about her experiences.

Jessica's Experience

"NOISE has given me the chance to work in a way I never had before. What was lovely about the "My Life in the News" project, I was able to work with actual news footage from a time that so very much affected my history. By planning and editing I really managed to explain all of the complex feelings about my life into a five minute documentary - something I have never achieved before by just talking about it. It felt good to be able to do a documentary from my own point of view. As a result of winning, I am applying to a business scheme with a view to starting my own art business. I'm very excited!"

Jessica comments on her time with the Vietnamese BBC World Service team: "Until this day, I had never met a person from Vietnam that I could talk to face to face. Because I am adopted, all my life the Vietnamese community has been closed to me. Since my friends and family have no ties to that community.

She continues: “I was nervous I wasn't going to be Vietnamese enough, or get in the way of their work, but I was welcomed with enthusiasm and friendliness. I was left to just talk for 2 hours. To anyone else this may not seem much, but for me, a person who never had anyone to ask ‘what is it actually like to be Vietnamese?’ to another person who is Vietnamese themselves just felt liberating."

An extremely strong piece.

BBC Creative Archive Team

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