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University and Winchester Film Festival to form a screen partnership

The University of Winchester (@_UoW) and the organisers of the city’s film festival are set to form an official partnership.

The two organisations have worked together closely for several years, and this new agreement seeks to formalise and expand on that relationship to the benefit of both.

“Film festivals are a way into the industry for students. Making short films and entering festivals is how many people get noticed,” said Paul Carter, Senior Lecturer in the University’s Department of Film and Media who is also an Associate Director of Winchester Film Festival.

“As well as screening our students’ work the festival gives students opportunities to meet and talk with professional film makers.”

Paul added that working with Winchester Film Festival is also important because it involves students in “real-life activity”.

Students take part in many aspects of the festival from planning and judging to working in front of house and behind the scenes at screenings.

The University supports the festival as a sponsor and a venue for screenings.

Winchester Film festival began in 2011 in a basement beneath a café in Jewry Street where it screened 15 shorts by local filmmakers. Today the festival selects from thousands of award-winning short and feature-length films from five continents and hosts world and regional premieres.

Festival director John Hayes explained that around half-way through its life the city’s annual celebration of cinema ‘ballooned’ in size.

“Since that point the festival could not have functioned without the support of the university and its student volunteers,” he said.

“We have worked with students from many different departments including journalism, music and marketing as well as film production. It’s a two-way process and everyone benefits.”

This semester students at the University have embarked on a new module which will require them to organise their own film festival.

The event will involve students from other courses, including events marketing.

Among the films to be screened at the festival will be the third-year students’ final projects.

For its twelfth outing the city’s film festival has been running in two halves for the first time. Part-one ran in November at a variety of venues around the town selling out most screenings.

After a three-month intermission the second half runs from 23 February to 9 March and in addition to screenings will include panel debates, in-depth presentations and audience Q&As.

Rob Ferrin, Programme Leader – Film Production at the University of Winchester, said:

“The Winchester Film Festival is a marquee event, each year in the film calendar of Winchester and Hampshire. Over the past ten years, the festival has provided numerous opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in organising and running a film festival as well as networking opportunities for our students to meet filmmakers from all around the globe.

“To have this partnership continue is an exciting prospect for all involved. We look forward to the continued success of the Winchester Film Festival and all the opportunities it will provide for students in the years to come.”

For more details about film courses at the University go to BA (Hons) Film Production – University of Winchester.

For more details about Winchester film festival visit Please go to (

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