Students’ video goes viral after being featured by the BBC

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SSJA winner
University of Stirling students Kelly McDonach, Owen Clachers, and Scott Crossett celebrate at the Scottish Student Journalism Awards alongside Head of Production Teaching, Dario Sinforiani (right).

An excerpt of an award-winning video created by University of Stirling students has been viewed more than 15,000 times after being featured by the BBC.

Forever Family – a 12-minute documentary which looks at the issue of adoption among same-sex couples – was shot by a group of fourth-year Film and Media and Journalism students as part of their final assessment.

The film documents the experience of three couples at various stages of the adoption process. James and Neil were the first same-sex couple in Scotland to adopt a child, Amanda and Gemma are about to complete the process, while Colin and Craig have yet to adopt.

The documentary triumphed in the Best Broadcast category at this year’s Scottish Student Journalism Awards (SSJA) and has now gone viral after the BBC featured a three-minute excerpt on its Family & Education News Facebook page.

Director Scott Crossett welcomed the news on behalf of the rest of the film crew: Iris Ionita (camera operator and production manager), Owen Clachers (editor), Michael McDaid (sound operator and production manager) and Kelly McDonach (camera operator).

Scott said: “My team and I are delighted to have been given the opportunity to tell the stories of these wonderful families. It is such a bonus to have been awarded an SSJA award for Best Broadcast and to have a short version of our documentary used by the BBC Family & Education social media.”


The BBC said the documentary had reached more than 50,000 Facebook users, had been viewed more than 15,000 times, and had attracted engagement from 578 people, who either commented or liked the video.

BBC Producer Susanna Cooper said: “I spotted the video on a friend’s Facebook page and loved it straight away.

“The team that carried out the interviews really got the best out of the families – there was a sense of fun, compassion and experience which came across beautifully.

“And the three couples worked well to instruct the narrative – the guys who had trailblazed for adoption, the women who had created their own family and then the couple who were about to adopt.”

She added: “A very touching, moving story told by the documentary makers in a very sympathetic manner.”

Dario Sinforiani, Head of Production Teaching at the University, said: “We are very proud of the student team who managed to produce such a strong documentary based around sensitive subject matter.

“They showed both maturity and skill, and the fact that the BBC recognised the quality of the film is another demonstration of its impact.”

Background information

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