How to run a film festival like a pro
- Yasmin Sulaiman
- 1 September 2017
Morvern Cunningham and Sean Greenhorn give advice on how and where to get into film-making as a student
If you dream of running your own film festival, uni's the best time to lay your roots. Here, two local film festival directors give us their take: Morvern Cunningham, co-founder of Edinburgh's surreal and experimental film collective KinoKlub and VHS Trash Fest, Scotland's premiere trash film bonanza, and Sean Greenhorn, programme manager at Glasgow Film (Theatre and Festival) and co-director of Dunoon Film Festival.
What's the best way to get into film-making / film-curating as a student?
Morvern: Go and see as many films as you can, and volunteer at film festivals. Glasgow and Edinburgh both boast two great film festivals in GFF and EIFF, so just get in amongst it as much as you can!
Sean: With both things it is just as important to make sure you are well versed in cinema history whilst keeping up to date with what is happening right now, particularly in your local film scene – if that is where you want to work. I studied film at Glasgow University but did lots of short term work for Glasgow and Edinburgh Film Festivals, along with others.
How can people find their film community while they're at university?
Morvern: Edinburgh is absolutely teaming with filmic activity! The first stop would probably be Edinburgh Uni's Film Society who run regular film screenings during term time. Next would be Edinburgh's only independent arthouse cinema Filmhouse, which is also home to the Edinburgh Film Guild and Edinburgh International Film Festival, which takes place in June. Filmhouse also plays host to a myriad of film festivals throughout the year including Africa in Motion, Take One Action! and various foreign language-based festivals. Outside of that, there are a number of community cinemas operating in Edinburgh too, including Freeze Frame Film Club at Out of the Blue Drill Hall, where you can see a number of classic films from the 50s to the 80s accompanied by a three course meal!
Sean: I seem to remember it was pretty easy to find them at things like freshers fairs and on notice-boards. But also I can't recommend enough just heading along to festival parties and chatting to people. Every night at Glasgow and Edinburgh film festivals, the venues are packed and people are chatting about what they have seen that day. From there, you can create your own film community.