Ms Jane Thorburn

Jane Thorburn is Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for BA Television Production and a member of the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster. She has been researching the Nigerian Film and Video industry for the last five years and has made six documentaries in Nigeria. She co-founded the production company AFTER IMAGE in 1979, directing, editing and series editing the majority of the company's productions. An early success was the Arts Magazine programme ALTER IMAGE which ran for three series on Channel 4. The programmes received a number of international awards as well as having seasons devoted to the company's work at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. In 1989 THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH was the official entry of Channel 4 to the Montreux Television festival. The After Image production THE EMPRESS won the Royal Television Society best production design award and a special mention at the prestigious IMZ Opera Screen. Other productions include THE SCORE, a classical music magazine series for BBC2, CAMERA an opera written specially for television, 2 documentaries for the Discovery Channel, and several performance collaborations commissioned be the Arts Council, Channel 4 and BBC2. Recently she has completed several documentaries and a drama including JOY, IT'S NINA shot in the UK and Nigeria which is currently screening in several festivals around the world.

Full details of Television and Movie credits can be found on

Current research interests include the creative and business aspects of the rapidly growing Nigerian film and video industry resulting in two documentaries and a drama 'THE FAMILY LEGACY'. The drama adapts a Nollywood narrative style to reach West African audiences living in the UK in order to inform them about Sickle Cell. This is part of a major outreach programme disseminated by the NHS and the Sickle Cell Society.

Jane's most recent research project 'JOY, IT'S NINA' explores a contemporary visual language that centers around how a woman of West African origin inhabits an alien and sometimes hostile landscape. Through performance & environment the film juxtaposes sound and image in surprising ways to offer moving interpretations of identity politics and the place of a woman in two different societies.

The stories are based on news and court reports and the actress Joy Elias-Rilwan's own life, including voice mails left on her answer-machine by the legendary singer Nina Simone, her friend and self proclaimed 'Spiritual Mother'.

Full details and trailers for the films can be found on

  • Africa Media Centre
  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media