FilmSoc Celebrates 70 Years of Student Filmmaking

On Sunday, March 18, the UCL Film & TV Society celebrated its 70th anniversary with a special evening of events on campus marking the occasion.

Nearly 100 society presidents and members past and present braved the snowy weather to gather in the North Cloisters for a celebratory drinks reception kicking off the evening. The event proved to be a fantastic opportunity for alumni – some dating back to the early 1960s – to reconnect with their peers, as well as find out more about the FilmSoc of today from the current committee and members. Throughout, a selection of the society’s newsreel archive as well as student productions of the last few years and a 2001 documentary on the history of the society from Robert Coren (Archivist 1988-92) was screened at the venue.

The reception was followed by a special screening of Christopher Nolan’s directorial debut ‘Following’ at the Cruciform – previously due to be held outdoors on the Wilkins Terrace. The film, which turns 20 this year, was produced with the assistance of the society: selected scenes were shot and parts of post-production took place at FilmSoc’s studio in the Bloomsbury Theatre building. The Arri 16mm film camera used on the shoot, as well as the Steenbeck editing suite, also remain in the society’s possession to this day.

FilmSoc alumnus David Julyan, who composed the score and went on to collaborate with Nolan on his next films ‘Memento’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘The Prestige’, introduced the screening; with the lead actor and UCL alumnus Jeremy Theobald also sending in a special video message.

The evening brings to a close a very special year for the Film & TV Society, which kicked off with a visit from the Oscar-nominated director, who was the society president from 1992-94, as he was awarded his Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the Faculty of Brain Sciences. With over 350 members this academic year, the society has so far completed principal photography on five short films as well as multiple webseries episodes; and held several popular events including a cycle-powered outdoor screening of ‘The Big Lebowski’ in collaboration with Project Active and a Q&A with Tim Bevan, the acclaimed producer of ‘Darkest Hour’ and co-founder of production company Working Title.

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