Settee of Stories: A sit down with Roter Su

Norwich. A city of mavericks and makers, creators and trail blazers. A big-hearted city beneath even bigger skies, and open air, open minds. In Norwich, everyone has a story to tell. And we’ll be sure to tell it. Every month, we’ll be sitting down with local writers, designers, makers, artists and influencers to discuss life in Norwich. This week we’re joined by film maker and lecturer, Roter Su.

Roter Su

Born in Taiwan, Roter Su has always had a passion for storytelling and film making. After moving to London to study film making, he landed himself a job as a film lecturer at the Norwich University of Arts (NUA) and hasn’t looked back since! A passionate advocate of his Asian heritage, much of Roter Su’s work focuses on cultural and national status. Alongside lecturing, he specialises in documentary production, and has been lucky enough to travel the world helping to give a voice to a wide range of groups and societies. We sat down to discuss life as a film maker in Norwich.

Roter Su Norwich

Roter Su, film maker and lecturer

How did you get into your chosen career/profession, and why did you decide to pursue this in Norwich?

I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and imagery, with a real passion for film making and moving image. But it was my mentor during my MA and PhD studies that gave me a different perspective on education and teaching, particularly in film and social science. So after the completion of my PhD, I’ve pursued dual roles as a filmmaker and film educator. As a creator and maker, teaching is an opportunity for knowledge sharing between lecturers and students in my opinion. How did I end up in Norwich as a film lecturer? There was an opportunity for the job of film lecturer at NUA, which I was extremely luck to grab. Interestingly, before the job interview I had no idea about the city, nor did I have any friends from Norwich. So it was a great adventure, which I think is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Perhaps I’ve enjoyed the UK’s pub culture too much, so I ended up staying after finishing my degree in London!

Roter Su on set

Roter Su on set. Credit: Denisa Ilie

What do you love most about Norwich and why?

As a sojourner who stayed in London just slightly over a decade, Norwich in my opinion has a really different charm to it. I think the city has its own artistic atmosphere, which becomes a very inclusive cradle for artists, makers, and musicians. And I believe this positive and creative vibe is sustainable and circulatory.

Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre, 2017

Favourite place(s) to eat in Norwich?

This is a very tricky question! As a food lover, I always like to try new food, places, and restaurants. But if I have to pick, I’d say The Bicycle Shop for its food and good atmosphere; Shiki as the place to go when I crave for sushi; and any local chip shop is the go to place if I am too lazy to cook dinner!

Food & Drink The Norwich Lanes-St Benedicts_The Bicycle Shop

The Bicycle Shop

Favourite place(s) for a coffee/beverage?

Another great thing in Norwich is that there are so many pubs in the city, and I enjoy pretty much most of them. Coffee wise, I usually will go for Strangers, Kofra, and The Little Red Roaster.


Kofra Coffee

What did you miss most during lockdown? What were the first things you did/places you visited after lockdown was lifted?

I think what I missed most during lockdown is the interactions with people. As we’ve just gone back to onsite teaching, it was fantastic to see students and colleagues that I can talk to in person. And watching films and having discussions together in the same room is just irreplaceable when you’re teaching. I do miss cinema, but during lockdown I’ve built a little home cinema which sufficiently covers my needs!

Roter Su on set. Credit: Denisa Ilie

What was your experience of lockdown like, and do you have any lockdown tips/recommendations for our readers?

My personal recommendation would be – try to find some time to exercise. What I’ve learnt during the pandemic and lockdowns is that we were so easy to take things for granted. And that is why I’ve realised our health is probably the most important thing for us all.

And finally, what does ‘Norwich’ mean to you, or can you tell us your favourite memory of the city?

To me, Norwich is a city that accepts me as much as I’m embracing it. The city is definitely a hidden gem in my opinion.