Sara Penrhyn Jones

Personal statement

Sara Penrhyn Jones is a multiple-award winning (RTS, BAFTA) documentary filmmaker with a particular interest in the environment, social-justice and gender equity. Past experience includes producing observational documentaries for television (BBC2, S4C), and delivering participatory and educational projects for broadcasters and other organisations, often engaging children, young adults, and vulnerable groups (BBC, Media for Development).

Sara has also worked with environmental activists and scientists to produce alternative, crowd-funded online media (Spanner Films, OneClimate, Dark Snow).

Sara's ongoing research through film explores what it means to listen and give voice to people and place, and negotiates the creative and political challenges of representation. Working in diverse geographical and social settings, including Kiribati, Wales, India, and the Marshall Islands, Sara explores and articulates the cultural aspects of environmental change.

With an emphasis on participatory approaches, current research projects are interdisciplinary and multi-partner collaborations to understand and respond to global challenges. Sara's research in film has been shortlisted for AHRC Awards for Research in Film (2015, 2016). More recently, she won 'Best Practice Research' for her film TIMELINE, from the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies.

Funded research projects

  • 'Forging Enduring Connections in Kirbati' (2018), Principle Investigator, on a co-authored report (funded by the AHRC / ESRC GCRF) on 'Indigenous engagement, research partnerships, and knowledge mobilisation. To be presented, with Pelenise Alofa, at an ESRC event on working with indigenous partners, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2019.
  • 'Changing Farming Lives in South India, Past and Present' (2017-18), Sara was a Media Producer in this project, helping to represent oral histories of women farmers in South India. This project is led by Dr Sandip Hazareesingh, the Director of the Ferguson Centre for African & Asian Studies at the Open University. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, it involves a partnership between researchers in the UK and the Indian NGO: Green Foundation.
  • Troubled Waters - Reaching Out (2017-18), Principal Investigator, AHRC follow-on funding for impact under the Creating Living Knowledge highlight call.
  • Enduring Connections (2016-18), Principal Investigator, AHRC, Care For the Future/Translating Culture and International Development call.
  • From Development to Displacement: arts education as a means to build cultural resilience and community-led arts production in the Marshall Islands (2016-18), Co-Investigator, ESRC, Forced Displacement call.
  • Troubled Waters (2015-16), Principal Investigator, AHRC, Care For the Future theme.
  • Towards Hydrocitizenship (2014-17), Co-Investigator and Co-manager (with Dr Alex Plows, Bangor University) of the case study in Mid Wales. A large-grant project, and part of the AHRC's Connected Communities program.

Academic qualifications

  • Postgraduate Diploma (terminal degree) in Broadcast Journalism, with BBC Scholarship, Cardiff University
  • B.A. Hons English Literature, Aberystwyth University.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

A crisis discipline: broadening understanding of environmental communication through theory and practice

Penrhyn Jones, S (2019) 'A crisis discipline: broadening understanding of environmental communication through theory and practice.' The International Journal of Creative Media Research, 2. ISSN 2631-6773


Penrhyn Jones, S (2017) TIMELINE.

Current scholarship

Sara is currently undertaking a 6-month fellowship at the Rachel Carson Centre, at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.

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