Film is 50 at Falmouth!

Tuesday 5 January 2016
1966 - A clockwork Bolex. One of the first 16mm cameras used at Falmouth - still in use today! Photo: John Wilkinson

Film has been taught at Falmouth for 50 years. The first moving image cameras arrived in 1966, giving us one of the longest film traditions of any UK university, and our alumni can be found today working in every part of the global film, animation and television industries.

The story of Film at Falmouth begins in the School of Art...

Most film courses in the UK were founded in schools of photography but Falmouth was different. From the mid-60s onwards we recognised film as a contemporary art form in its own right and nurtured fledging art filmmakers in an atmosphere of individual self-expression and creative freedom, alongside painting, lithography, textiles and etching.

"By the late 60s Falmouth was even better equipped than the Slade school. The Fine Art Curriculum included not only painting, sculpture and printmaking but also photography and film."
Michael Finn (Principal 1958-1972)

The study of contemporary film was added a few years later and so the foundation stones of the current School of Film & Television, which combines the study of theory and practice, were laid five decades ago.

By the early 70s film was flourishing within the art school. Dennis Lowe graduated in 1971 with a 35-minute film called Cathedral.

On his website Dennis Lowe says: "After the film 2001 A Space Odyssey in 1968 the world suddenly changed for me and I found a new art form to play with. It encompassed everything that I was interested in, the universe, the mysteries, and the marriage of technology with the soul. I was an art student at Falmouth School of Art and couldn't see any difference between painting and film making."

Dennis went on to a glittering career in special and optical effects working on films such as Alien, Aliens, Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, The Never Ending Story, Sense and Sensibility, The Talented Mr Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain.

Five decades on and filmmaking at Falmouth continues to flourish with the School of Film and Television acknowledged by the Skillset as one of the top film schools in the UK for film, television and animation.

Chris Morris, Director of the School of Film & Television, said: "The film school at Falmouth is now recognised across the TV, animation, VFX and film industries for producing graduates who are technically skilled but who also make films that have something to say about the world we live in."