Film Students

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Foreword by 

Dr Bruce Bennett Director of Film Studies

As film students will appreciate more keenly than most, doing a university degree is a little like watching a film. As we follow the protagonist’s progress through a series of challenges and momentous encounters, we share their emotional and intellectual journey, experiencing moments of confusion, frustration, isolation and anxiety, as well as moments of elation, achievement, slapstick hilarity and an intense sense of belonging to a group of friends, family or community. Working our way through a degree takes us through a similar narrative trajectory and, like the film-goer walking out of the cinema auditorium as the closing credits are rolling, we emerge at the end knowing more about the world around us and how to navigate our way through it.


Of course, as film students also know, the most interesting films are those which leave us with unanswered questions. It is the films that avoid clichéd plot devices, simplistic characters and unconvincing happy endings that stay with us, that haunt our imaginations and shape our thoughts, encouraging us to watch more, read more and discuss more. Therefore, if doing a university degree resembles the experience of watching a film, it is not that of a generic action film, comedy or melodrama. It is more like the experience of viewing an experimental art film that is emotionally complex and layered with subtle meanings and allusions that require us to continue the search for a fuller understanding beyond the conclusion of the film.


All of which is to say that while we are very happy and proud to see this year’s students come to the end of their degrees, we know that this is far from the end of the story. In fact, it is just the beginning, and we look forward to hearing about the adventures they get up to in their various sequels.


Dr Bruce Bennett Director of Film Studies