"My peers and lecturers made me realise that there are no limits to creativity and design, only the limits that you create within yourself. Looking back, KEA allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. It was where I picked up my first camera from Tech Lounge (now Tech & Story Lab), designed and coded my first website, made countless mistakes, and above all, lead me to pursue my passion for film and media as a full-time career."

Hanna Selim graduated with her Bachelor's top-up in Design & Business (Communication Design & Media) in 2022, as well her AP-degree in Multimedia Design in 2018. Today Hanna works as an editor and cinematographer for Blonde Inc. We have talked to Hanna about her time at KEA and her career path.

Q & A:

About KEA...

Q: In one word, how would you describe KEA? 
A: "Playground

To me, KEA was a space to exert all my energy into trying different things. There were no rules, only conventions that you wanted to challenge and were encouraged to do so. My peers and lecturers made me realise that there are no limits to creativity and design, only the limits that you create within yourself. Looking back, KEA allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. It was where I picked up my first camera from Tech Lounge (now Tech & Story Lab), designed and coded my first website, made countless mistakes, and above all, lead me to pursue my passion for film and media as a full-time career."

Q: What was your favourite class and/or who was your favourite teacher? 
A: "All my lecturers had one thing in common, they inspired me to learn beyond what was on the syllabus. I recall leaving lectures more curious than ever.

My favourite class was a module in "Design Fiction", which is a design practice and discipline that explores future possibilities by creating scenarios that are narrated through design artifacts. It was then that we created a short film on the power of mycelium, and how it can help change human behaviour in the pursuit of a sustainable future without plastic. You can watch the short film my group co-created here.

I can't pick one favourite teacher so here's a shoutout to all those that have helped me grow: Kenny Marek Møller, Rasmus R. Simonsen Ph.D., Ida Wingberg Hemmingsen, Gullan Christensen, Trine Stark, Helene Niclasen Jeune, Stine, Herman Bailey, Brian Everitt, Julio Garrido and Charlie Tarby."

Q: What is your fondest memory of KEA?
A: "My fondest memories at KEA date back to my AP degree in Multimedia Design, when I, along with some members of the Tech Lounge, went on a three day trip to Tidsvildeleje to film the festival 'Musik i Lejet' in 2019. Two months of preproduction, creative concept development, and camera workshops were all put into practice. That's where I met some of the first people, who paved the start of my journey in the Danish film industry. Shoutout to Fook L. Nielsen, Thomas Meldgaard, Alexander Sørensen, and Stefan Thorndahl. The four of them were part of a collective called Filmforeningen, a supplement to Danish media education.

During that summer, we'd wake up every day, leave our camping site, prep our gear and work together with producers and actors to create three short films for the festival's different target groups. I had the most fun, sleepless, learning experience with like-minded people. Little did I know, this experience was going to lead me to my dream job!"

Q: If you could go back in time to change one thing in your KEA studies, what would it be and why?
A: "I would have definitely gone on an exchange, it's one thing I wish I took advantage of. Though, I would say I was busy exploring the Danish media industry and it's led me to the start of a journey that's becoming more and more global. I recently shot a campaign for Louis Nielsen in Hungary and have more projects in the pipeline abroad!"



Q: What was your first job after graduating from KEA and how did you acquire it? 
A: "My first full-time job after graduation is at Blonde Inc as a film editor and cinematographer. I heard about Blonde three years prior to applying, when I met one of the producers at a stall during KEA CAREER WEEK. They were looking for interns to join their team and grow together. At that time, I hesitated to apply because I didn't think I had the portfolio yet, plus I was working as a student assistant at CBS, at the startup incubator; Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship (CSE).

So I decided to intern at my student job at CBS to explore the startup ecosystem for a while during my AP degree. Then came the internship semester of my PBA and I decided that was the time to apply. There were no open positions at Blonde in the post production department, but there was an open position for Social Media. I thought to apply regardless because I wanted to be in an environment that was creative and experienced in film production.

10 weeks and an internship report later, I still kept in touch, even though the internship period ended. Being in the environment motivated me to work on my portfolio further and apply for Blonde's educational training program "Blonde Program". Around 473 applicants applied for the three open slots in the Blonde Program and I was extremely happy to find out I was one of the chosen three to join the team. I trained as a cinematographer and editor, sent to work on different productions each day. Together with my two other programmers we created a music video for Sony's daughter company, Disco Wax. After three months of the program, I was offered a full-time contract at Blonde as part of their post-production department."

Q: What did you want to be when you were younger and how does it correspond with what you are doing today? 
A: "I had always loved acting and performing arts since I was a kid. I studied GCSE Drama and I used to be in musical productions such as Aladdin, Dracula Spectacula, Grease, and The Boyfriend etc. But, I always thought of it as a hobby and not a feasible career path. At the time I thought I needed to focus on a path that would be financially secure, so I studied Economics and Business Administration for seven months at Aarhus University, until I realised it didn't fulfill me. I remember skipping lectures to go home and edit videos to post to my few hundred followers on Instagram. Editing made me more excited to wake up than the lecturers did.

It was clear to me that I wasn't happy with my studies and I wasn't going to settle, so I dropped out in the second semester. I then applied to KEA where things took a 180 turn. I met so many creatives and like-minded peers. Today, I would say that I am doing what I've always wanted to do but behind the camera. Who knows what the future holds? I still love acting and performances, and I noticed that has helped me in my own job - for example, being able to direct actors/models/extras in shoots to help bring out the story authentically. Or being selective in which shots from the footage help bring the story to life."

Q: What is a typical day like as an editor and cinematographer at Blonde Inc? 
A: "No two days are the same at Blonde. There are some days when I'm out of the office, on set shooting for many hours a day with a ton of gear, crew, and coffee. Other days I spend at the office in the editing suite working on brands films, commercials, or music videos. I love that each week is different, because I can get easily bored if not stimulated by new projects.

Though we work with a lot of different brands like Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger, Asics, Nike etc, we still find opportunities to learn, so we often have workshops in our department, where we either invite industry experts to give us tips on how to elevate our work, or bounce ideas off of each other in the team. We often hold screenings and reviews to invite feedback and give each other advice on how to improve and grow."

Q:What is your favourite thing about your career? 
A: "My favourite thing about my career is that I genuinely love what I do, and there's always room for growth and learning. I'm given creative freedom to make decisions when editing or filming, so it's a great feeling to be trusted to implement my ideas on what I think can bring the story out in the best ways. It's also a very social industry with lots of collaboration with different people and clients. The collaboration helped me learn about other team members' roles; being in an editing session with directors has taught me a lot about directing, or filming with other DPs whether in-house or freelancers, and taught me a lot about different approaches to filming."


The personal stuff... 

Q: Can you tell us something funny/quirky about yourself and how you use it in your daily life? E.g., a skill or something only a few people know about you?
A: "I’m really good with accents, I can pull off a great British one, and sometimes I’ll switch randomly or say silly phrases like “Bob’s your uncle""

Q: What is your favorite book to read or podcast to listen to?
A: "I’m currently hooked on the book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” by Susan Jeffers! I’ve found that many of the principles in the book has helped me in my daily life. A really good podcast: “Cutting Class” by John Mcswain, who talks about how film editing is often seen as a dark art. He also interviews some of the industry’s renowned editors and I think it’s really cool to learn about their mindset and how they got started into editing."

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment, and why?
A: "Nothing is more thrilling than getting to work with artists you've grown up listening to - it's a very rewarding feeling. I can’t say much now, but stay tuned!"

Q:What advice would you give KEA students or fellow KEA Alumni?
A: "Always leave a door open to any workplace you've left or people you've met, you never know when you'll cross paths again or if you will eventually need those connections again. 

Remember to take time to reflect on where you started and where you are, a lot can happen in a year! I often think about 2017 me, and if I were to meet her and tell her all the things she is yet to experience. I would tell her to be patient and keep putting your heart into everything you do."