Salford lecturer Sarah Hodgetts using the power of film to help families affected by COVID-19

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Filmmaker, producer and University of Salford lecturer Sarah Hodgetts has been helping families affected by COVID-19 from across the UK to mourn the loss of their loved ones through her big-hearted project Video for Distant Memorials. 

In these exceptionally difficult times, funerals have had to change, and social distancing measures have made it difficult for many to grieve for their loved ones. Video for Distant Memorial is a community of freelance filmmakers operating from homes across the UK and includes University of Salford students.

Founding freelancer Sarah is a filmmaker and producer with over 15 years of experience spanning broadcast and digital video.

Sarah Hodgetts said: “Many people are volunteering in their communities, supporting each other through this difficult time, and it is heart-warming. I developed a potentially life-threatening autoimmune condition a few years ago, and as such, I am one of the people shielding inside. Setting up Videos for Distant Memorials is my way of doing what I can.

"It's brilliant that students have been able to get involved in this. They have the enthusiasm and skills to make a big contribution within the collective and are making a very meaningful difference to the families who need them."

The team are offering to produce memorial videos for as long as social distancing measures disrupt standard funerals, absolutely free of charge.

Friends and family affected by the pandemic can contact Video for Distant Memorials directly and the team will assign a Producer to work with them to tell their loved one’s story in a creative way. Memorials can include photos, home videos, voice notes, pre-recorded eulogies and poetry.

Beth Hewitt, Creative Director – Media City Directorate, at the University of Salford said: “This project is so valuable to the families who have lost loved ones and I am so impressed with Sarah's determination and ambition to make it happen.

“Working closely with the freelance media industry communities who have been so badly affected by the pandemic and who are now giving their expertise and time to create these short videos, Sarah has been able to turn her idea into a reality. Our media students are extremely keen to be a part of this incredible project and are working closely with Sarah to support her in this vital and innovative COVID-19 project.”

Though the service is free the team are encouraging donations to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal or any other local charities. 

Find out more about Video for Distant Memorials.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.