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Filmmaking BA(Hons): Student achievements

Student showing at film festivals and screenings

London Short Film Festival 2014

A film by Kingston filmmaking graduate Courtney Argyle has been showcased at the prestigious London Short Film Festival. Her film, Hest, is a thoughtful documentary about a herd of wild Norwegian horses as they roam across the landscape. The camera is simply an observer of their movements – a technique that reveals much about the daily lives of these majestic beasts and the world in which they live.

Speaking about her film, Courtney said: "It showed me my desire to encourage people to realise the deeper levels animals can have, I wanted people to begin to search for that connection. I guess I wanted to spark people's interest in animal-human bonds, to begin to explore for themselves how one can bond with animals." 

"Delightful" – BFIHest short film at London Film Festival

London Short Film Festival 2013

Two students were selected to show their work at the prestigious London Short Film Festival in January 2013. Jo Hewer's Catherine and Jim Nilsson's States of Matter featured at the festival, which is recognised as the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge UK independent film.

Jim's film, States of Matter, has also been screened at several other prestigious festivals including:

  • The British Student Film Festival 2012
  • Short Cuts film festival 2012
  • BFI Southbank 2012
  • Cinematique film festival 2012

He was also interviewed by The New Current, who are the media partners for the ECU European Independent Film Festival following his success at LSFF. 

Jim Nilsson's States of Matter

Screenings at the BFI and Genesis Cinema

Students were fortunate enough again this year to be able to showcase their films at the BFI in a series of screenings during 2014. They also had the opportunity to screen their work for their Degree Show at Knights Park campus and then at their London screening held at the Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green.

Student work experience placement

Adam working on propsSecond-year student Adam Leat recently undertook work experience at renowned film and TV props/SFX company Robert Allsopp & Associates, London.

The placement, arranged by tutor Richard Squires, was organised after Adam expressed an interest in prop-making after making a successful machine prop for Sinner Table, one of level five's group films.

Robert Allsopp has made props for a wide range of prestigious TV productions including Doctor Who and feature films such as Gladiator, Notting Hill and X-Men.

Speaking about his experience, Adam said:

"At the time they were working on a commission for a feature film, it was amazing to be able to work on something like that. I did learn a lot that's been of help to my own work. At the time I was teaching myself how to make armour from polyester and fibreglass. They pointed me in the right direction and gave me a few tips to refine my techniques. Now I'm quite confident in producing props and costume pieces for my final film next year that I began to plan this summer."

BFI work placements 2013

What better way to gain experience on a filmmaking course than to do a work placement at the renowned British Film Institute?

Current work placements

Amanda Greenwell, Jack Needell and Danny Helme are working at the BFI for three months to prepare for the Future Film Festival.Three of our current students have been given the fantastic opportunity to work at the BFI as festival interns.

Amanda Greenwell, Jack Needell and Danny Helme are working at the BFI for three months to prepare for the Future Film Festival.

The annual Future Film Festival takes place over a weekend in February every year, with a packed line up of workshops, masterclasses, networking opportunities, screenings and Q&As at BFI Southbank.

Read the blog by our current BFI interns.

Previous work placements

Hero was supported by The European Cultural Fund, BFI, Tate and Kingston University. The project was co-ordinated by Noel Goodwin of the BFI.In 2011, Natalia Remfeld and Gillian Hathaway participated in a BFI/Tate initiative, co-commissioning video artworks by young filmmakers.

The commissions took place in summer of 2011 and culminated in an exhibition in the atrium space at the BFI. Hero was supported by The European Cultural Fund, BFI, Tate and Kingston University. The project was co-ordinated by Noel Goodwin of the BFI.

Elina Street at the BFIIn 2009, two of our students, Elina Street and Dan Jones, took part in our internship partnership with the BFI. Elina worked in the Exhibitions Department for three days a week for two months and Dan worked in the Archives Department for two days a week for two months. Both programmes were the first of ongoing, annual internships in these two British Film Institute departments.

Read more about our links with the BFI.

BFI video art bursary

The video art bursary by the British Film Institute (BFI) is a collaboration between BFI Future Film and Young Tate Online. Six of the most promising moving image artists were selected to win a production bursary of £400 and were mentored over a three-month period by professional artist and filmmaker Phillip Warnell, who is also the course director on the filmmaking course at Kingston University. This is part of the DocNext project which is funded by the European Cultural Fund, which included a BAFTA screening of all of the winners' films at an event on 23 September 2011.

Of the six bursary winners, two were from Kingston University including Filmmaking BA(Hons) student Gillian Hathaway. Discussing her work Gillian explains: "I thought this experience – undertaking a BFI video art commission – was a good way to meet other passionate film makers like myself, but mostly I was excited in having this chance to have private mentoring and a budget to hire experienced actors, studio and equipments.

"We were given the theme of 'local heroes' by the BFI and what interested me about this theme was that the identity of a 'hero' could change depending on a person's point of view. My film consists of seven characters of different race and age, and the camera explores and examines them, portraying and emphasising each character's unique appearance. It is up to the viewer to judge whether or not they are heroes. However, it is the technique employed and use of cinematography that affects and guides this judgement."

Film London competition

The Lunchtime Cowboy: Aidan SheridanFilmmaking BA(Hons) graduate Aidan Sheridan has won his local heat of the Film London in 90 Seconds: Capital Tales competition. The competition aims to encourage filmmakers living or working in one of the participating boroughs. Aidan submitted a short film about his borough (Sutton) and was delighted to win.

Aidan explains: "I saw an advert in a local newspaper for the 'Film London in 90 Seconds' competition – you had just 90 seconds in which to tell a story about your area of London, in my case Sutton. When thinking about the theme, I kept coming back to those eccentric individuals often seen around the Borough, such as the so called 'wizard man' or the 'Jesus man'.

"The tendency is to judge by appearances – but we should not judge a book by its cover. Hence my idea for The Lunchtime Cowboy – a simple idea and a simple story. One thing I learnt from Kingston (through trial and error) is not to cram in everything into your film just because you can as you will lose the backbone and story.

"I started production using Tom Woodman (a fellow graduate) as cameraman, Phillip Keiman (an actor who worked on my final degree project), Lesia Anna (an actress that applied to a posting online) and Fiona Cressey (a friend available on the day). The shoot took a couple of hours to film at a local park and went as smoothly as any shoot can go... they were laying tarmac on the path further down the park and gradually closing in on our shooting location.

The Lunchtime Cowboy: Aidan Sheridan"I edited the film in a couple of weeks and, after managing to find somewhere to burn my DVD, I sent it off to my local borough. A few short weeks later I found out I'd won, which meant I would receive £500. More importantly, someone other than my parents liked my films!"

Keep in touch with news, events, awards and generally what's going on with the film courses at Kingston University.

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