Sunderland graduates commended for their media firm

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THREE graduates have gained recognition for their new film production company.

The media students picked up their business accolade at the Blueprint Awards – The North East Universities Business Planning Competition.

Josh Rafé Coles, Adam Gerber and Amy Swan set up Contrapunto shortly before graduating from Sunderland University this summer.

They began working with each other in their third and final year of study, producing a 20-minute drama, Detached, for their dissertation.

The company was formed on the back of a project the group was asked to work on while completing studies.

In 2010, Newcastle writer RD Ronald approached the university to find a group of students who would be interested in producing a cinematic teaser trailer for his second novel, The Zombie Room.

In April, the cinematic book trailer was released alongside the launch of the The Zombie Room, and it has helped promote the book to wider audiences.

Early this year the trailer received international recognition at this year’s Telly Awards in the United States.

After winning at the university’s own Blueprint Business Planning Competition in May, the team was asked to represent Sunderland in the regional finals.

The five-month competition process required entrants to form and submit a full business plan.

They were also required to pitch their ideas to established business people from some of the region’s biggest firms.

Contrapunto was selected for the Highly Commended award in the Creativity and Design Category.

“We feel honoured to have been part of this whole experience,” said Josh, who studied media production and is responsible for the development of the business.

“We have learnt so much about the business world, not to mention ourselves.

“The university have provided invaluable support.

“We are delighted to be bringing this fantastic piece of recognition back to Sunderland.”

Vince Robson, business development manager at the university, said: “We are absolutely delighted for Contrapunto.

“They have worked tirelessly in our hatchery on their plan over the past few months and demonstrated that they have what it takes to run a successful venture in an exciting new business area.”