St Andrews Film Festival: A preview

Emily Lomax the first film festival organised by the newly formed Filmmakers' Society of St Andrews.

Logo by Yu Ching Yau

The St Andrews Filmmakers’ Society are newly-founded, brought into being by a group of students who were surprised that there was not one in existence (there did used to be, and in 2013 Eliot Grove, founder of the Raindance Film Festival, came to visit). They offer guidance and kit for all aspiring filmmakers: the eye for aesthetics runs wide in St Andrews, as does the storytelling impulse, so whether you find the St Andrews setting charmingly beachy and gorsey, or bleak and rain-smudged, it’d be well worth using the expertise of the society to experiment with making a film. Submission’s for this year’s festival run until the 21st of April and they are free, so get strategizing!

With their upcoming event, the Filmmakers’ Society seek to provide another opportunity to draw in and showcase the creative potential of our student body in the filmmaking medium; after all, St Andrews has a relatively rich film history: it’s the setting for the famous Chariots of Fire beach race scene, and an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let me Go was filmed on location here too. Edinburgh has a fantastic film scene too: a film festival and wonderful independent cinema. Our little cinema too is lovely, and St Andrews students are largely into film – be it big budget or indie releases.

Submissions for the festival are sought from filmmakers across Scotland; they decided to make an all-embracing rather than student-centric event, open to people of all backgrounds, with no limitations on experience. All they are after is a compelling film; be it through evocative dialogue, an idiosyncratic storytelling method, or technique and craft.

The society hosted a successful Christmas showcase of seven winning films last semester, and this semester’s event is an big one: a half-day long film festival on the 29th of April, comprising the showing of their favourite film submissions in the Buchanan lecture hall –  stalls selling an array of food will be present, plus a photo corner using the filmmaking set, set up potentially to be a directors-room-scene.

Two talks from fantastic film industry professionals will be interspersed: Walid Salhab, the director of the 2012 Cannes award-winning short film Bra-et Al Rouh, and Laura Walde, curator of the Swiss Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur.

These screenings and talks will then be followed by an award ceremony at the Adamson. The juror will include one of our university’s own School of Film professors, the producer Fabian Vetter and the winner of last year’s Film Blitz festival Ian Gordon. There are lots of categories they’ll judge the films on: editing, actors, cinematography etc. A collection of great prizes are up for grabs too, including a subscription to Sight and Sound, the British Film Institute’s magazine, summer festival passes and a MUBI film platform subscription. So, if you’d like to get in last-minute a submission and use these strange pre-revision days fruitfully, do get filming and editing.

And when the sardonically dark-yet-sunny days of revision set in, come to fill your fecklessly spent time with the watching of some fantastic films: you are free to pop in and out, to stay to watch all or just one, to hear from the brilliant speakers or just attend the awards. You might find it inspiring, motivating, and – as film seem most to have the power to evoke emotion –perhaps stirring too. It’s always an excellent thing to attend an event where talent and innovation have been collected and curated for you, so come to support our winning Scottish filmmakers.

Tickets to the screening and talks cost £3 for members and £5 for non-members, and to the awards ceremony too, £6/£8

Find the event here:

And their website here:

Logo by Yu Ching Yau






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