Tristan Tull, Regent’s Senior Lecturer in Film & Screen, has created a documentary entitled Occupation. An Island Story. The documentary explores what life was like in 1940s Jersey under five years of German rule throughout the Second World War.
With partial funding from Regent’s University London, Tull was inspired to create the documentary in 2018, after his sister – who works in a care home in Jersey, was told these stories by the residents. The documentary includes archive footage and first-hand accounts collected from residents who were living in Jersey at the time.
Tull said: ‘I didn’t want these stories to die out and so I thought why not bring them to life in a documentary. I travelled to the island in 2018 and my first interview was with a care-home resident my sister worked with. From there it was a really organic collaboration as through various connections I got to meet people who have lived through the Occupation and were happy to tell their story.’
As Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Film & Screen, Tull teaches Regent’s students the creative processes involved in film, TV, and digital media, helping them to develop practical skills in screenwriting, producing, editing, and production management.
On his experience filming Occupation. An Island Story, he adds: ‘We started shooting in 2018, but since then, a lot of the time and my own money has been taken up by finding all of this footage. As a filmmaker, you want to try and present your work in a unique way and so we have bought old maps, photographs, and letters from the Occupation and brought them to life through animation.’
He continues: ‘No one in England really knows the extent of the Occupation, so for those from outside of the island, the documentary aims to shine a light on a story many are not aware of. But for islanders, it aims to be a sort of resemblance of their heritage and identity.’
A public screening of Occupation. An Island Story will take place on Friday 3 September from 7:30pm at Jersey Museum.
Watch the trailer here.