Filmmaker Dorothea Sterian is a one-to-watch

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

For Romanian-born filmmaker Dorothea Sterian, though lockdown during COVID-19 has been challenging, it has also been one of the most inspiring times creatively.


After studying for a television and radio degree in the UK, Dorothea has since been accepted onto the Edinburgh Television Festival’s prestigious Network scheme, as well as finding an early career mentor in BBC Storyville’s Commissioning Editor Mandy Chang.

Dorothea beat off tough competition from over 600 applicants to earn a place on The Network scheme, which will give her three days of sessions, masterclasses and workshops led by industry professionals.

She said: "I am incredibly grateful and very excited to take part in the masterclasses and workshops during my time with The Network. It will act as a great stepping stone for my career and provide me with an invaluable amount of industry knowledge and support.”

It is no wonder Dorothea was picked up by the talent scheme, with a collection of inspirational documentaries under her belt. Staying Sane (During a Global Pandemic) documented her personal struggles this year.

“The inspiration for the film came from my feelings and thoughts during lockdown, when I felt that I was slowly losing my sense of identity, my sense of purpose,” she said.

“I had picked up candle-making as a hobby at the time, but I wasn’t happy with my results, I wasn’t happy in general. I was angry - so I decided to channel it all in an authored, self-reflective documentary. It was a tough process, but it allowed me to find perspective, better understand myself and find what I now believe to be my true purpose.”

Her film A Simple Haircut, one of her personal favourites to make, is an exploration of love, loss and loneliness that revolves around the simple act of her grandmother getting her hair cut.

“I am, of course, biased but my grandmother is a remarkable woman. The film is my personal homage to her incredible resilience and strength,” she adds.

It was at the University of Salford studying for a BA (Hons) Television and Radio where she truly honed her craft as a filmmaker.

“I learned to think more creatively, explore abstract concepts and always find a deeper meaning in the stories I want to tell. I was pushed out of my comfort zone and encouraged to find my own style - a process that has ultimately given me the confidence to pursue documentary filmmaking as a career,” said Dorothea.

One thing I’ll always cherish is the bustling atmosphere at MediaCityUK. There is no place like it. To know that both the BBC and ITV are stone’s throw away made my experience at Salford all that more exciting and inspiring.”

Dorothea is currently continuing on her path of becoming an established documentary filmmaker, bringing impactful, cultural stories and extraordinary characters to the wider world.

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