Alumni Profile: Tessa Barlin
Tessa graduated with her BA Honours in Documentary Film Production in 2017. She is am most passionate about the environment, wildlife conservation and indigenous peoples' rights.
She completed an internship at Rhino Africa during her studies and since graduating, she has been freelancing in the film industry. I is self employed. Her biggest achievements have been having her Honours documentary (a 30 minute environmental documentary) screened at many different prestigious festivals around the world including in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Poland.
Furthermore, her greatest achievement to date has been attending the NEWF Congress (Nature, Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress) to deliver a pitch for a new environmental documentary, which subsequently became one of the winning pitches and she was awarded a grant to make my documentary - which will be completed in May 2019. She also recently travelled to Bristol, UK to attend the Wildscreen Film Festival.
She says, “My degree has assisted me by opening many doors. I have made invaluable connections with industry professionals, whom I met through my course. I've also learnt how to work with scientists on environmental documentaries.” Tessa’s advice to incoming students is to, “approach all your classes and assignments with an open mind. Look at them as something that will bring enrichment and not just something you have to do to pass the course. Find topics you're interested in and write about them. Make your degree your own. Follow up on the connections you make. Communicate with your team when you feel you need to. Experiment with your creativity - if ever there was a time and a space to do so - this is it. Challenge yourself to participate in controversial or difficult conversations. Take care of your mental and physical health. Express yourself unapologetically. And try your hardest”.