Filmmaking has been taught at Falmouth for fifty years – we have one of the longest film education traditions of any university in the UK and our alumni can be found working in every part of the global film, animation and television industries.
The story of film at Falmouth begins in the school of painting with the purchase of a lightweight 16mm Bolex camera in 1966. What started with one clockwork camera, is now a multi-million pound film and television school with world-class facilities. Most filmmaking courses in the UK were founded in schools of photography, but Falmouth was different – it recognized film as an art form in its own right and from the 1960’s fostered its fledgling filmmakers in an atmosphere of individual self-expression and artistic freedom, alongside painting, lithography, textiles and etching. Falmouth Fine Art alumni who now work in the moving image include international artists such as Tacida Dean, Ben Rivers and Pete Fowler.
‘By the late 60's 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)
Dennis Lowe (pictured below) graduated from Fine Art in 1972 and was one of the first to use the new film technology.
“After 2001: A Space Odyssey 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 & Sensibility, The Talented Mr Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain.
By the mid 1970’s film, television broadcasting and animation were firmly established, and throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s continued to grow.
In 2010 the film production courses at Falmouth became one of the first in the country to gain industry recognition through SKILLSET accreditation.
In 2013 The School of Film & Television was formed, bringing together the film, television and animation courses.
In 2016 The School of Film & Television was invited to join CILECT, The International Association of Film and Television Schools. Founded in Cannes in 1954, CILECT consists of the best film schools from around the world. CILECT institutions are found in 65 countries on six continents.
In 2016, one of the founders of Aardman Animation, David Sproxton described the School of Film & Television at Falmouth as… ‘a first-class film school, developing talented young people”. On a visit to the School post-production specialist Jonathan Smiles (Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast, District 9) was impressed with the… “terrific facilities… I could have been at a production company… everything felt right to do real work”.
The director of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and Brassed Off, Mark Herman, was also “Genuinely impressed… for those seeking a career in film, I'm unaware of anywhere offering quite such good (and possibly unique) opportunities, education and experience.”