By Maddy Raven, Film & TV Editor
I sat down virtually to speak to Dayo Omi, this year’s president of the Film Departmental Society. It’s a relatively young society, founded by Nadia Sajir in 2018, to bring the film student community together and hold screenings in the Winston Theatre in the Student’s Union. Dayo is a third-year film student: she got involved with the Film Departmental Society in first year.
Their frequent socials and events made her feel part of a tight-knit community, and she would like to continue this during her year as president. Only film students can join the Film Departmental Society, but anyone can come to their screenings.
The society holds many throughout the year in collaboration with various networks and charities. ‘Our aim is to make film students feel part of a university community and to make them feel welcome,’ says Dayo. Not only this, but the society aims to help them improve their filmmaking skills outside of the course, to provide them with an opportunity to have fun, and perhaps in the future, help them find work experience and internships in the industry.
In the past year, the society has held screenings in collaboration with the BME Network for Black History Month. They screened Lady Bird (2017) in collaboration with Feminist Society and Ru Paul’s Drag Race (2009-) in collaboration with Drag Soc. More recently, they held a few screenings of short films about refugees and a pub quiz as part of their charity week with Art Refuge. Anyone can come to these screenings because they are often charity events.
Student Come Dine with Me is also something the committee organised this year: sadly, all of the footage is still at the Student’s Union, but they hope to access that and edit it soon!
Film Departmental Society has also held a few competitions. Most recently, Max Lai won the short iPhone filmmaking competition and a screenwriting competition is currently running. Every Christmas, Film Departmental Society holds a formal event, often fundraising for another one of their chosen charities.
‘Our main focus is making sure the community feeling is continued throughout students’ three years at university, not just during their first year, and we want to maintain these relationships during Coronavirus when we’re all far away from each other. We’ve also had a successful family scheme this year which is always worth continuing.’
Going forward, Dayo wants to hold more competitions, perhaps even a few each term, and invite freshers to submit their ideas in order for the society to help them develop these into short films. The committee will be choosing charities, and they’ll all be Bristol-based.
In particular, Dayo wants to continue the work the Film Departmental Society has done so far and push it further, and engage the film community at Bristol through successful collaboration and a network of support, spearheaded by herself.
If you’d like to get involved with the Film Departmental Society, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram, or reach out to Dayo Omi to find out more. Remember, anyone can come to their screenings!
Featured: University of Bristol Film Departmental Society Facebook page
Which film society would you like to check out? Let us know!