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Welcome to the University of Portsmouth Alumni Association blog.

Graduate's commercial raises awareness of loneliness within the elderly

Graduate's commercial raises awareness of loneliness within the elderly

Alumnus Michael Kyriakou shooting the Vida commercial

Alumnus Michael Kyriakou shooting the Vida commercial

“My experiences at the University of Portsmouth were both exciting and fulfilling. Like many people who go to university, I was initially full of energy and lacked guidance or knowledge in where to apply it. Luckily I have always been very astute and, after finding my feet in my first year, I spent the next two years enjoying the beautiful town of Portsmouth, enjoying my studies in History and exploring my entrepreneurial spirit. I would argue that my time spent at the University was the foundation in the development of my professional career, whilst studying History was never about remembering facts and dates (sometimes perceived), rather the process of thinking and assessing information - something invaluable today. I was also very fortunate to have the personal guidance of Dr James Thomas, his wisdom to this day still holds dear me. 

My most treasured memory has to be graduating. Standing atop of the steps at Guildhall looking at my family gleaming with pride.

In the last year of University I started my second business, an e-commerce art-house that discovered artists from around the world, both promoting them as artists and giving them a platform to earn an income. I did this for 3 years whilst experimenting in film (as a producer). Eventually I had to follow my gut instinct and I had to take the film industry seriously. 

I had the most amazing opportunity to work on Gareth Edwards, ‘Star Wars Rogue One’, although slightly less glamorous than running a successful business, I had to follow my heart. Nearly 3 months later, after wrapping on the film, I knew this was my calling. Being a practical 'go getter', I dived deep into the filmmaking world (there really is no clear path to filmmaking other than to create content to develop your vision). Furthermore, I started consulting as a Creative Director and this gave me the opportunity to direct commercials. Now onto my third commercial (in 5 months), I plan to keep exploring and developing my story telling techniques. 

The most recent commercial came about when Vida (a health-care technology platform) asked me to launch a campaign on social isolation and loneliness within the elderly. We all have, or had, grandparents and I believe nobody wants them to be lonely. So I took this opportunity to create something that made people think. We want the campaign to really engage with the audience and for them to take action, to think about their loved ones and to actually spend more time with them". 

Watch Michael's commercial.

Michael Kyriakou graduated in 2013 with BA (Hons) History at the University of Portsmouth.

Awards and showcases for graduate startup success

Awards and showcases for graduate startup success