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Film & TV - BA (Hons)
In film, we have to battle against generalities: generalities of thought, of seeing, of making. In order to bring a fresh vision to our work, we have to re-locate the specifics of experience, observation and thought which allows us to make work which is genuinely original and based on one’s own way of looking at the world.
Our programme is based on constantly interrogating and learning how to evolve a personal filmmaking language and approach to visual storytelling in its broadest sense. You can choose to specialise in documentary, drama or experimental film, but we encourage everyone to take part in workshops to learn other skills and extend their knowledge of filmmaking and its contexts. Most students graduate as directors, some as cinematographers or producers, but all are expected to develop secondary skills. We run practical workshops in camera (including lens training and 16 mm), sound recording and sound design and editing, as well as directing, writing and documentary making.
We work very much as a community and all undergraduates, as well as directing their own work, collaborate on camera, production or sound on Senior productions, which is an excellent way of learning. All our lecturers work within the industry on an international level.
Along with Edinburgh Napier University, we have been accredited as a Skillset Screen & Media Academy: one of a select group of institutions recognised by Creative Skillset as providing the highest standard of vocational education, training and skills development for film and television. This testifies to our proven track record in working in conjunction with the film and TV industry to develop professional skills for the wider film and TV world. We have many speakers and workshops led by industry professionals and also collaborate with broadcasters and institutions on commissions and placements.
Top five reasons to choose the programme
- We will nurture your personal filmmaking language, encouraging and enabling you to make work which is genuinely original and based on your own way of looking at the world.
- You can specialise in documentary, drama or experimental film while gaining training in a wide range of other filmmaking skills and approaches.
- We work very much as a community and you will have the opportunity to collaborate with others, including within industry.
- All lecturers work within the industry on an international level and bring depth of expertise and practical experience to their teaching.
- We are accredited as a Skillset Screen & Media Academy recognised as providing the highest standard of vocational education.
Julie Bills, Film & TV technician; Cinematographer; Camera operator
Julie Bills is a Cinematographer and Camera Operator with almost 20 years' experience working in the Film and TV industry in Scotland and the UK. She has worked on some of Scotland's best known TV and film productions. Julie originally studied painting and worked as an artist and documentary photographer for 10 years, developing her eye for lighting and composition, before making the switch to moving images. She is experienced in digital, 35mm and 16mm camera. She has worked on feature films such as The Railway Man, The Eagle, Neds, The Last King of Scotland, Sweet Sixteen, My Name is Joe, Ratcatcher, and television dramas Rebus, The Book Group, and Queer as Folk. Most recently she was shooting for Nae Pasaran a documentary feature coming out in 2017.
David Cairns, Tutor in Film & TV | View staff profile >
David Cairns is a director, screenwriter and critic. His short film Cry for Bobo won twenty-three awards around the world including a Royal Television Society Award for Best Regional Programme. This led to numerous writing and directing roles in television comedy.
He co-directed the experimental documentary Natan in 2013, which won best documentary at Dallas Video Fest and has been sold to French TV and released on DVD in France. He co-scripted the Scots-Irish horror movie Let Us Prey in 2014, which won a Sliver Mélies Award and reached number 1 in the iTunes horror chart in the UK. His latest film is the short comedy-horror The Northleach Horror, which was funded by Creative Scotland and the BFI, and is being screened at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. He is also at work on various feature projects including the epic fantasy Sinbad and the Sorcerer’s Bride. As a critic, David has written for prestigious magazines such as Sight & Sound and Film Comment, and regularly contributes video essays for DVDs from Criterion and Masters of Cinema.
Emma Davie, Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programme Director; Reader | View staff profile >
Emma Davie's research area is documentary filmmaking. Her work explores approaches to narrative structure and form and how ethical questions affect this. Her most recent film is the feature I am Breathing (2012).
She has been making documentaries for 15 years including What Age Can You Start Being An Artist? for Channel 4 (2004, nominated for Grierson Award); Gigha: Buying Our Island, a one-hour film for BBC/Scottish Screen; and Flight, a BBC/Canadian co-production (2000). She has also directed short experimental work including 71˚N ( nominated for best short at Edinburgh International Film Festival).
Emma's experience in experimental theatre and performance gave her a background in questioning form and of a collaborative creative practice. She helps filmmakers develop their work internationally, and has been invited to teach with the European Documentary Network, IDFA Summer School, StoryDoc, Norwegian Film Institute, Discovery Campus, DocMontevideo, and has given talks or contributed to workshops in Athens, Ramallah, Shanghai, Leipzig, Brussels and more. She also taught at the European Film College in Denmark.
Tracey Fearnehough, Tutor for second and third year; Director; Producer | View staff profile >
Itandehui Jansen, Lecturer in Film & TV | View staff profile >
As a filmmaker and researcher Itandehui Jansen is interested in the interrelation between fiction and documentary and in the synergy between film theory and practice.
She studied an MFA in Directing Film at the Film Academy in Amsterdam and finished her PhD at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her PhD research focused on both practice and theory of Accented Cinema. At present she is interested in how cinema represents the art of filmmaking and how this is connected to aspects of self-reflexivity in film.
Prof Noe Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute and PhD Supervisor for Documentary Film; Postgraduate organiser and tutor | View staff profile >
Noe Mendelle has worked in Film & TV for over 30 years (including Channel 4, BBC, ARTE, RTP, RTBF) as a producer/director. She is a research professor at Edinburgh College of Art, where she supervises MA & PhD students by practice in Documentary Film. Her research and her practice takes her to different parts of the world to explore people’s stories, and she is currently working on a four-part series about the Bijagos people for the broadcaster RTP (Radio Televisao Portugal), Gulbenkian Fondation, Unesco & Creative Scotland.
She set up the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) in 2003 and over the years devised several talent ladder award winning schemes: Bridging the Gap, BtG+, This is Scotland, Stories & The Edinburgh Pitch. She Executive Produces most films going through SDI productions (Libya in Motion, Where You’re Meant To Be, Seven Songs for a Long Life, Sculpting the Spirits, Norfolk, I Am Breathing) working with a wide range of emerging and established talent. Sculpting the Spirits won the Best Film Award at Parnu International Documentary & Anthropology Film Festival in 2015. She has served on juries and panels at festivals around the globe as well as running documentary workshops in Africa and the Middle East.
Anna Wyatt, Screen Academy Administrative Assistant | View staff profile >
- Catriona MacInnes, Drama tutor; Writer; Director
- Morag McKinnon, Drama tutor; Director; Writer. Morag studied Film and TV – BA (Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with first class honours, followed by an MSc from Napier University. She directed a number of short films through various schemes, including Home for Channel 4, which won the BAFTA for Best Short Film and a number of international awards. She went on to direct television drama, including Buried as one of two directors, which won the BAFTA for Best TV series. Morag went on to direct the feature Donkeys, which won a Scottish BAFTA for best film, and collaborated on the documentary I Am Breathing with Emma Davie, which won a Scottish BAFTA award. Most recently, Morag filmed the award winning play The List, starring Maureen Beattie for Stellar Quines’ theatre company. Morag teaches part time at Edinburgh College of Art and is developing her next feature, an adaptation of the novel Venus as a Boy.
- Ali Murray, Sound tutor; Sound designer. Ali Murray is a sound designer who makes, records, mixes and generally plays with sound. He also writes and records music and works as a drummer. Ali provides sound post-production for film and animation, including sound design, ADR, Foley, editing and mixing. The most recent film Ali has provided the post production sound for, Mark Cousins’ STOCKHOLM MY LOVE starring Neneh Cherry, has been picked up by Fortissimo Films. Ali has an MSc in Sound Design from Edinburgh University and teaches at Edinburgh College of Art and New College Lanarkshire.
Including journals, image databases, and local collections.
A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.
Get information, advice and guidance about your career options.
The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.
CSE caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.
Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.
At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.
ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.
EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.
Includes a flexible studio space, equipment for location shooting, and several editing facilities.
Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.
A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.
The International Office's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.
The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.
By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.
Includes a screen-printing room, relief room, lithography room, process room, intaglio room, and caseroom.
The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.
Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.
Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.
Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.
Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.
A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.
A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.
Scholarships & bursaries
Intended for undergraduates from lower income backgrounds intending to pursue a career in television.
For students or recent graduates of a Scottish university pursuing an overseas project. (£1500)
For students doing undergraduate honours projects, masters projects or PhD projects. (£2,500)
News & events
Each of the three films nominated in the Short Film category is directed or produced by an ECA Film & TV graduate.
The SDI works in collaboration with organisations from around the world to attract a range of speakers and screenings to ECA.