Ben Vincent, spoke to us about his time studying BA (Hons) Film Studies and how it has prepared him for life after graduation. Read on to discover his journey to picking Film Studies and the experiences he has encountered whilst studying here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hello, my name is Ben Vincent, and I am just embarking on the final trimester of the BA (Hons) Film Studies course. I’m originally from Sheffield, but I now live in Salford. I developed a strong passion for film about 5 or 6 years ago, when choosing to study it at A-level which subsequently prompted my degree choice. Some of my favourite films include Koyaanisqatsi, Brazil, and Apocalypse Now.

How come you decided to study BA Film Studies?

Originally, I wasn’t certain on whether I wanted to solely study Film or if I wanted to do a degree that combined Film Studies with English. However, I remember very clearly over lockdown listening in on one of Pete Deakin’s Open Day presentations (held over Zoom at the time) and I was convinced in that moment that Film Studies was the degree for me. Pete’s outline of the course seemed a perfect match to what I wanted to get out of university and I can safely say, that it did not disappoint!

Which areas of the course have you enjoyed the most so far?

I have really enjoyed delving into areas of film studies that I hadn’t known anything about before starting the course. Looking at different film movements from different periods, taking place all over the world, has been really fascinating and satisfying. Some of my favourite aspects of the course have included the study of the ‘Italian Neo-realist Film Movement’ in the first year of the degree, the ‘Cinema Asia’ module in the second year, and the exploration of the styles and techniques of slow, contemplative cinema in the third year.

Have there been any events, workshops, or guest speakers that you have enjoyed?

During our second-year module ‘Cinema Distribution and Exhibition’ Rachel Haywood from HOME Cinema came in for a Q&A session which I found very engaging. Similarly, on our ‘Film Journalism Module’ guest speaker Gregg Walker from Chapel Town Picture House shared some fascinating information about what it’s like to go from student at Salford to running your own independent cinema. Outside of that, the class socials which we have been on each year are always good fun, with the ones at the end of each trimester feeling especially rewarding.

What is something that you have learnt from the course, that you have/will carry with you throughout your future career/jobs?

For me the most important skills that I have picked up are the transferrable skills. The course has taught me to have confidence in my opinions and to find my own voice, via written work, as well as spoken through the examined presentations. I have already found these skills useful when applying for part-time work. Other than that, the ability to undertake independent academic research is a skill I am sure I will benefit from going forward, as I am hoping to go on to further and to build a future career based around these skills.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I have applied to study a postgraduate master’s degree in Film Studies. This will hopefully be the next step towards a career in academic, specialising in an area of film studies. Alternatively, after the postgraduate degree I would be equally happy in a career that makes good use of the vast transferable skills that I have occurred during my time at Salford.

What would you say to someone thinking about this course?

Don’t be put off if you haven’t studied film before coming. The first year really does an amazing job of getting everyone on the same page, no matter what their background is. If film and film criticism is your passion, this course has everything you will want. Also, certain modules explore areas that I have never previously thought about looking into, such as film distribution and exhibition. For me, the knowledge gained from that module has directly resulted in me and a few course-mates starting the University of Salford Kanopy Film Society. You can find and follow us on Instagram!