Screen and Film School Manchester celebrate their very first Induction Day

7 October, 2021

Towards the end of September, Screen and Film School Manchester celebrated its inaugural Induction Day. This exciting occasion was the highlight of a week which was jampacked with events and a brilliant curtain raiser for our brand-new campus in the heart of the city.

For students and staff alike, it was the culmination of many months of patience and anticipation. The students have now settled into the area and the academic year is underway, and we could not be happier with the way in which the opening week provided a platform for everything to finally launch. Jude Suckling, our Head of Industry and Careers in Manchester, summed it up perfectly when she said: ‘The Manchester Induction Day was such a success that I felt like I needed to see the photos of the day before I could truly believe how good it was.” You better believe it: here is a recap and some photos to mark the occasion.

The day opened with Screen and Film School’s Executive Principal Dara Kilkenny providing the new students with a heartfelt introduction, reflecting on the eighteen months prior to our opening and how everyone associated with the school had had to overcome several obstacles before we had the green light to launch. Following on from that, College Principal David Thompson echoed Dara’s tone by welcoming the students and congratulating them for securing their place on our official first day.

Following on from David’s speech, Jude invited all students to stand up and begin networking with one another. They were encouraged to turn to one side and say what their favourite film was and then turn to the other side and say who inspired them the most. It was a joy to hear the young filmmakers laughing together and bonding over their love of the big screen.

We then heard from René Lorraine, a Screen and Film School Brighton graduate. Students had the opportunity to watch René’s film Piece of the Puzzle. René then spoke of the support she had received at Screen and Film School Brighton and how her time there had changed the type of filmmaker she wanted to be: at the beginning of her studies, she had her sights set on becoming a cinematographer, but by the end of her degree she left as a documentary maker and has gone on to win awards in that category of filmmaking. We hope that this served as an insightful and inspiring speech for all our first-year students.

Our new Head of Education in Manchester Frances Piper introduced the details of the Degree Course and our expert lecturers. Frances herself is a graduate in Theatre and Film and has worked in the television industry since leaving university, starting at BBC Leeds, then at BBC Manchester, on both local and national news. Our Filmmaking lecturer Baldwin Li also took to the stage and screened his BAFTA-winning film The Voorman Problem. René was back on stage to interview Baldwin about the process of producing the short. He spoke about his relationship with actor Martin Freeman and how he went from being a tech op at Granada TV to a Bafta winning producer.

Lecturer Matthew Boone introduced Aaron Starkie from Manchester band The Slow Readers Club. Students had a chance to see the video from their single ‘Tell No Lies’ which Matthew himself had directed. They then proceeded to invite questions from the audience about the importance of film makers collaborating with musicians, keeping in mind our close relationship with BIMM Institute in Manchester. Aaron advised the audience on what he finds most refreshing when ideas are being pitched to him for music video productions.

The final section of the Induction Day was dedicated to industry. The industry experts included Alison Loose, Production Exec from ITV Studios, Rose Hibbert, Talent Exec from Studio Lambert and Sam Wagster, from Screen Manchester. These local industry voices gave our first-year students plenty of excellent starting tips such as ‘start networking straight away’ and to ‘get work experience while at university.’

College Principal David Thompson discussed the success of the Induction Day, having had chance to reflect on it in the two weeks which have followed:

“It was my privilege to open Screen and Film School Manchester for our first year at Riverside Studios. I was really pleased to hear one student tell me it was like being at a film festival, as that was always our aim. The day was so fast-paced and exciting, with one thing after another slotted in, all in the space of two hours. A great showcase of what Screen and Film School Manchester is all about: making every student feel they are entering industry from day one. It was an absolutely fabulous event.”

Furthermore, our Scholarship winner in Manchester, Muhammed Bittaye was in attendance, and had this to say:

“My first week was simply amazing. The Everyman Cinema was a brilliant experience for me as I got to meet everyone all at once. I was nervous at first but after speaking to so many people I found that we were all in the same boat. After a couple of minutes, I was very comfortable. The talks were brilliant, and the short films were the highlight of my experience. I made some friends fairly quickly and we went on a scavenger hunt, and it was one the funniest, coolest days ever.”

We saved the best until last though and the final word had to belong to our Screen and Film School Manchester Patron, Fabian Wagner. Fabian recorded a special message from a top-secret location, on the set of his latest project – House of the Dragon, which is a Game of Thrones prequel. Superstar Cinematographer Fabian told an excited audience that he wished them all the very best for their first year.

With that the day and the event was over and it was time for the hard work to begin. We believe that the dynamism and fun which was in the air on our first Induction Day will set the tone for a successful opening year at Screen and Film School Manchester.

We can’t wait to report on all the good news our students have to tell over the course of their first year!


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