By Kai Platt and Chris Forshaw (Future Journalists Elective students)
A group of first and second year Media and Film A level students spent the day at HOME cinema in Manchester for a study day organised by the British Film Institute. The independent cinema shows a variety of films and hosts discussions on different topics. The SJR students got the opportunity to watch Under the Shadow and participate in a discussion led by Dr Kirsty Fairclough, Director of Media and Performance at the University of Salford.
The students began their day by meeting students from other colleges, as well as Dr Fairclough herself. After a short introductory talk about the film and its production background, it was played and watched by students; many of who enjoyed it with a mixture of excitement and terror.
The independent horror film was set in Iran and shot in Jordan as well as being funded by British film studios; it was done entirely in Persian with English subtitles, giving the students a taste of international cinema to add to the other examples seen on their course.
After the screening, Dr Fairclough put the students into different groups with set questions to focus on. The contribution from St John Rigby students caught the lecturer’s attention, as she described them as having “the most active contribution, and by far the best in the cinema.”
However, the students’ contribution weren’t without controversy, as they spoke about issues such as religion, society and culture in Iran and feminism in the media industry, particularly films. Without getting too heated, their ideas made for a good discussion.
Overall, the students found the film and the experience to be very enjoyable. They were able to analyse the film in depth and develop their appreciation of world cinema.