Literatures, Languages & Cultures

And... action! Film students launch new magazine

Film students Niamh and Yvonne take us behind the scenes of their new student-led magazine, The Film Dispatch.

In the first semester of her MSc in Film Studies, Niamh Carey-Furness came up with half an idea and decided to get in touch with Yvonne Wang, the student rep for their year. Soon the word spread, and they gathered a handful of their peers to form an editorial team of 13. The Film Dispatch was born.

Niamh and Yvonne outside 50 George Square
Niamh and Yvonne outside 50 George Square

We caught up with Niamh and Yvonne, who are both postgraduate students in Film Studies at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), to chat about their new magazine dedicated to film and how the project is bringing together students from all over the university.

The Film Dispatch is an online student-run magazine, and each issue centres on a theme decided by the editorial team. The team welcomes features, reviews, guest pieces and shorter opinion pieces, ensuring that contributors are given the opportunity to write in a style that suits them.

The first issue, Cinephilia, launched on 14 February 2022. The launch of the second issue on Women in Film celebrated International Women’s Day in March.

Film is for everyone

Yvonne and Niamh can talk about film for hours on end, so they wanted to create a space for others to explore their fascination of film.

Niamh explains,I wanted to start a film magazine that was accessible to everyone, no matter their level of experience or place in the university. Before I arrived in Edinburgh, I noticed that although the university has some truly amazing student newspapers and magazines – The Student and The Inkwell to name a few – it didn’t have a paper solely dedicated to film.”

“The Film Dispatch is another way to express my love of film which brought me to Edinburgh in the first place.”

Having a background in journalism, it was a no-brainer for Yvonne when Niamh approached her.

Yvonne chimes in, “We decided to use the knowledge of film that our course equips us with to fill the university’s publication gap. I have a created my own magazine before, so with that experience, we decided to provide a space for all students who love film.”

Building lasting connections

Not only does working at The Film Dispatch improve Niamh and Yvonne’s editorial skills, but their biggest takeaway is how it has connected them with other students.

They explain how, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it has been particularly hard to establish meaningful connections with their peers.

Their relationships now extend beyond the classroom. Niamh tells us, “Being part of The Film Dispatch has enabled me to know my peers better. I’ve gotten a chance to connect with people that I otherwise might not have met.”

“The magazine has given us an alternative space to talk about film. I love sharing opinions on movies and inspiring other people to do the same.” 

Just do it

With the support and encouragement from teachers and the Film Studies MSc programme, the process has strengthened Yvonne and Niamh’s confidence, organisational skills and creative minds.

Although “the most difficult step is to start, which involves organising, contacting people and promoting our magazine,” both Yvonne and Niamh have shown that a little confidence goes a long way and hope to apply their enhanced communication abilities to their future careers.

Talking about what she’s learned, Yvonne says, “It boosts my ability to organise and cooperate with others and gives me courage and determination to create something new. The most useful transferable skill that will benefit my future is to brainstorm new ideas. Confirming each issue’s topic and deciding on each one’s designing style require creativity."

For Niamh, it’s the editorial and marketing side of the magazine she enjoys the most. She would like to contribute to other publications in the future, and reminds us that, “Now, I know that confidence is the starting point for any endeavour.”

Read past issues of The Film Dispatch

Are you interested in studying film at Edinburgh?

Exploring crucial concepts in the development of film theory and film-philosophy, one one-year taught Masters programme (MSc) centres on the criticism, analysis and interpretation of auteur cinema, with a focus on European and American film. We also supervise PhD research in film theory, film-philosophy, various national cinemas, the work of individual filmmakers, and cinema in relation to other art forms. 

Find out more about postgraduate study in film at Edinburgh

Related links

The Film Dispatch: The story continues