Reel Life Data Project


Are you a filmmaker?

Want to make a short films about social issues? 

Then we need your help…

Can you help us?

ARK is a joint initiative across Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. One of its key activities is running the annual Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, which records the views of people living in Northern Ireland about key issues affecting their lives.

In 2017, we launched our first Reel Life Data Project, which asked people to make a film based on some of our survey data.

You can view two of the films produced for the 2017 project.


We are running the project again this year, focusing on attitudes to different communities living in Northern Ireland ('good relations'). For 20 years, the survey has explored how people from different groups live together here.  For example:

  • In 2001, 22% of respondents thought that Travellers were treated unfairly compared with others; in 2016, 45% of respondents thought this.
  • The majority of respondents in 2017 supported mixed-religion workplaces (90%), neighbourhoods (78%) and schools (68%).

The challenge is to present relevant statistics from the Life and Times survey in an interesting way - you can find links to the statistics in the brief below.  It doesn't have to be a documentary; it could be fiction or animation, discussion, vox pop, interviews, music video, game show etc. The more creative the better!  And remember, you can use your smart phone to make a film - you don’t need any sophisticated equipment.

Films must be a maximum of 3 minutes long. If you are interested, please complete the film outline sheet, and email it to Paula Devine by 5pm on Monday 8 April.  Each outline will be reviewed by the Reel Life Data Project team, and we will contact you to discuss your outline.

We are planning to hold an event later in the year which showcases some of the films, and we will also make some of the films available on our website/youtube channel.

Are you interested? Then please read all the information below.

We look forward to hearing from you.


The brief (please note the new timetable)


Submission criteria

Submissions will be shortlisted on how well the submission responds to the editorial brief.


Terms and conditions

  1. The Reel Life Data team within ARK reserves the right to refuse any submission for any reason at its absolute discretion.
  2. Submissions will be considered on how well the submission responds to the brief.
  3. Submissions must not contain defamatory or obscene material. It must be suitable for posting online by ARK, must be your own work and must not infringe on any other rights.
  4. Film makers must obtain the consent of everyone whose face or name is shown in the film.
  5. Submissions should not show the faces of anyone aged under 16 years or age.
  6. ARK reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the project or amend these terms and conditions where reasonably necessary. ARK will notify participants of any such cancellation, termination, modification, suspension or amendment.
  7. Each completed film will be jointly owned by the filmmaker and by ARK.
  8. The ARK logo, and information about the surveys should be included at the end of the film.  The Reel Life Data project team will the information that should be inserted.
  9. Submissions are made at your own expense. ARK, Queen's University or Ulster University will not be able to supply technology for the purposes of supporting this competition.
  10. Acceptance of these rules is a condition of entry.


Deadlines (please note the new timetable)

  • Completed film outline forms emailed to Paula Devine by 5pm on Monday 8 April 2019.
  • Outcome of review of outline forms by 5pm on Thursday 18 April.
  • Submission of selected films by 5pm on Monday 24 June.


Any questions?

Have you read about the brief, the terms and conditions, submission criteria and deadlines?