So that’s it! After a staggering 1250 hours of film, 420 programmes given out, 150 attendees, 80 cans of soft drinks, 40 bags of popcorn, 9 movies, 7 short films, 5 nights of events, 3 sets of twinkle lights, 2 boxes of wine and 1 amazing Freshers’ Week, the UELSU Freshers’ Free Film Festival 2013/14 is over.
Thanks to everyone that helped make it happen, got involved and came along to take part. You were all amazing.
We launched the Festival at our stall at the Freshers’ Fair. We were blown away by the amount of interest we had, with sign ups a plenty and loads of students wanting to hear about our future events. It was amazing to speak to students and staff about the FilmSoc society and our events and have them say they’d already heard about it! Warmed our cockles, for sure.
Things got even better when we spied our partner Picturehouse Stratford East’s new programme with our own event in it! That’s right, we’ll be presenting The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on October 17th! And there we were, in the programme, our logo and all. Hurray! More details on that coming soon.
The Cool Nerds kicked off our screenings on Monday night with The Inbetweeners Movie. They chose it as they wanted to pick something that showed nerds being real people, rather than just a stereotype. The film shows their highs and lows and illustrates that sometimes (though not every time) the nerdier ones of us can come out on top. It also helped that The CN Society felt that The Inbetweeners Movie is a laugh-out-loud feel good flick that would get us in the Freshers Mood.
The Students’ Union brought us all the blockbusters this week (and provided a blu-ray quality projector, the popcorn and drinks). The SU started the Summer Smashes ball rolling with Star Trek Into Darkness in the SU Lounge. There was action, explosion, Vulcans, Star Fleet and some discussion on the film versus the videogame.
Tuesday was a Sustainability Special from UEL’s Green Thing team. People & Planet joined us for An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary about Al Gore’s presentation on climate change. There was a enlightening discussion afterwards where we learnt the worrying truth that the stats are even worse than the 2006 documentary predicted. If you’re interested in learning more, or joining the People & Planet society, contact email@example.com.
To cheer us up a little from all the climate change problems, the Sustainability Team & the SU screened Wreck-It Ralph. The intention was to have a sustainable screening, with a cycle-powered cinema. Unfortunately the cycle-powered machine got stuck in traffic for 3.5 hours and never quite made it! None-the-less we soldiered on and watched it (unfortunately powered by electricity). It’s such a lovely, heartwarming film with lots of laughs and silliness, that no one seemed to mind the let down from the Cycle-Powered Providers. There were laughs, loves and excellent animation. Definitely a recommended film!
Wednesday brought a little bit of drama when our screening room was changed 10 minutes before opening!
Luckily, with the help from the LGBT Society, we managed to shepherd everyone to the West Building for their screening of Beautiful Thing, a 1996 film from Channel 4 Films, based on the screenplay of the same name. Historically, it’s an incredibly important film, made in a time when gay issues were not often found on mainstream television and paved the way for shows such as Queer As Folk and the general acceptants of LGBT+ characters on screen. It was originally made for television broadcast only, but was so well received it was given a cinema release. Read more of LGBT Soc’s Loren’s thoughts on the film here.
Discussions afterwards led to one attendee volunteering to joining the UELSU newspaper, Oh My Daze, to discuss such issues. It was also pretty awesome to have people drop in to watch the film that weren’t connected to the LGBT Society and just wanted to come and learn something new. Good on you all.
Following that, we popped back to the SU Lounge for Les Misérables. Despite it’s long running time, it was a popular one, with a real mix of students coming to watch. Before the film, there was a lot of comment on Russell Crow’s performance, but the overall summation at the end was it wasn’t quite as bad as everyone had said previously. Looking around the room, there was even maybe one or two tears being shed during Anne Hathaway’s rendition of I Dreamed a Dream. And Julie, do get in touch if you still want to hear how it ended!
If you found yourself walking through the Atrium in the East Building around 4.00pm on Thursday, you’ll no doubt have been pounced upon by The UEL Rag Society. Encouraging volunteering and raising money for charity, they were happy, bouncy and very friendly. And if you did bump into them, they would have undoubtedly tempted you into their screening of The Blind Side.
They chose Sandra Bullock’s oscar winning turn as it portrays how doing good can be done on a personal one-on-one level and everyone can be the change they want to see in the world. Think about your actions and those around you. RAG will be teaming up with us for lots of screenings in the future, with the aim to raise money for a number of causes. Read more here.
We moved over to the SU Lounge for a packed screening of Django Unchained (‘The D is silent’). We had an unexpected backing track from the Barking Bateria, whose rehearsal echoed around University Square. We at 20FF are interested in what people think of the final 30 minutes of Django. Did it completely make the film or was Tarantino too scared to end a movie without blood-soaked mayhem? Whaddya reckon?
After a long week of Freshers Fair and Film Screenings, we exhaustedly (but happily) reached the end. We were sperred on by a very special Society Special.
We were honoured to work with UEL English PEN, screening a selection of short films from English PEN and selling wrapped books to raise money for the cause. English PEN and PEN International support writers and journalists who have been imprisoned for their political writings. The UEL English PEN Society will support the cause with regular letting writing campaigns and Open Mic nights, where they will allow students to read out their own writings whilst also reading out the work of writers who have been incarcerated. You can read more here.
There was wine, snacks and a few books sold, as well as some very interested students taking part in important discussions. It was the perfect example of such a screening, lots of different people dropping in, some who were really interested in the cause and others just taking the chance to learn about something new. There was also support from lecturers, particularly those who work in International Development.
To keep the cultural evening going, the SU Lounge topped the Festival off with Fast & Furious 6. Fast paced, high octane car racing action from the F&F team. There was some excitement at the scenes filmed in East London and a UEL student was an extra in a scene. Interestingly, opinions were split in the audience. Some preferred that this film brought more character development and less car racing, others felt that this took away from what F&F truly is. It was a nice, fun way to finish the week and a good way to rest our brains after a long week of Freshers madness!
All our thank yous
Thanks so much to everyone that attended, it was great to see so many people coming back night after night but also that we had new faces popping up for every screening.
Thanks to everyone who signed up to join the new film society, FilmSoc UEL, or even just to hear about future screenings.
Thanks to all the societies that worked with us: The Cool Nerds, People & Planet, LGBT Society, RAG Society and UEL English PEN. And the UELSU Union for providing space, snacks and general good vibes.
Thanks to Picturehouse Stratford East for the leaflets, programmes and general support.
Thanks to Caitlin & Jenna for keeping the stall going throughout the week! With so many of us not yet back to London from the summer, we wouldn’t have survived without you!
Thanks to Yousuf from the UELSU & Freyja for putting the festival together and ensuring it happened every night.
And finally, thanks to Miles, John Joe and everyone involved in creating the best UEL Freshers’ Week we’ve ever seen. We were absolutely blown away by the fabulous week you put together. Good work, keep it up!
If you’re interested in seeing what happened and when or learning a little more, download the Programme here.