International film festival and Staffordshire University team up to deliver degree

EUROPE’S leading independent film festival has teamed up with Staffordshire University to launch a unique new degree.

The Masters degree in Film by Negotiated Learning launches this week with its first cohort of students.

As well as making films and learning how to use state-of-the-art technology, the students will be involved in curating the Raindance Film Festival, receive mentoring from industry professionals as well as screen their own project work.

James Fair, Award Leader at Staffordshire University, said: “This is the first year this Postgraduate level course has been run and 18 students have signed up.

“The partnership with Raindance allows us to provide learning opportunities that meet the demands of the work place. This will be where theory and practice meet, mirroring the complex realities of filmmaking.

“There is nothing like it around. It’s a big move for the University to be recognised by the industry as a great place for practical learning.”

The University’s Film Technology Department was first brought to the attention of Raindance after participation at various international film festivals.

Last year, James alongside fellow lecturers Andy Paton and John Bradburn were invited to the Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia.

They were challenged to create a feature length film in only 72 hours, called The Ballad of Des & Mo, which has since been shown around the world.

A Making Of documentary recently had its worldwide premier at the Raindance Film Festival, in London, on Saturday, October 8.

It also set to be shown at Filmbase in Ireland, on October 21; Solihull Film Society, on October 22; and the Irish Film Festa in Rome, Italy, on December 3.

James said: “Raindance were impressed that we were taking part in these high profile things around the world – such as the Galway Film Fleadh, in Dublin.

“The latest showing of the 72 Hour Movie Project, at the Raindance festival, was a great success as well. And the Making Of documentary got its worldwide premier at the festival.

“This kind of practical, hands-on approach has helped establish Staffordshire University’s film courses as industry leading.”


Maria Scrivens
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