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What’s it like to help out at one of Edinburgh's leading European film festivals?

We talk to Film Studies MSc student Simon Galván about developing his skills at the fifth annual Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival.

One of the many benefits of studying in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) is the chance to work across disciplines such as film, theatre and literature, and a range of languages.

Photo of Simon Galvan
Simon Galván, Film Studies MSc student and ESFF volunteer

Founded and led by colleagues in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies in LLC, the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) is an opportunity for people with a passion for cinema to get involved in a large, multi-venue, world-language festival.

In October 2018, current Film Studies MSc student Simon Galván used his emerging videography skills to film interviews and Q&As at the fifth annual ESFF, having been alerted to the opening by Programme Director, David Sorfa.

Speaking of the opportunity, Simon says: “I had just arrived in Edinburgh and everything was really new but I am Spanish and I was very excited to see which films the Festival would feature. Back in Spain, I always follow Spanish film awards, such as the Goya Awards, and the ESFF's selection was really carefully picked.”

Definitely different from my usual classroom experience

Simon is from Madrid and studied film as part of his Communication and Media degree at Complutense University before moving to Edinburgh for his masters.

Talking about his myriad interests in film and film exhibition he says: “ESFF was a great opportunity for me to meet amazing invited Spanish directors and writers. It also allowed me to gain hands-on experience and professional know-how as to how film festivals are organised, as well as the chance to see many of the latest award-winning Spanish films.”

“Volunteering was definitely different from my usual classroom experience and it gave me the opportunity to work in a really dynamic environment. During the Festival, I further developed my technical skills by filming and taking photos of events, interviews and Q&As, which gave me additional hands-on experience in videography.”

“ESFF was an extremely valuable experience for me as it gave me further insight into the Spanish film industry. Through the Festival I have learned new skills and met really interesting people from the industry.”

Seeing the festival unfold from behind the camera was an amazing journey and looking back at the results today I am very happy that I could participate.

Simon Galván, Film Studies MSc student and ESFF volunteer

Are you interested in studying Film at LLC?

We offer a range of postgraduate degrees, with one-year taught masters programmes in Film Studies, and Film, Exhibition and Curation, and a three-year PhD in Film Studies.

Find out more about film at Edinburgh

Celebrating 100 years of Spanish at Edinburgh

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2019 marks the centenary of the Spanish degree and the establishment of the department of Spanish at the University of Edinburgh. Today, we have grown into a large community of teachers, researchers and students in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS). We offer a range of undergraduate degrees, MSc by Research degrees, and PhDs, as well as teaching on interdisciplinary masters programmes. Please do join us for events and activities over the course of the year, including the Main University Library’s first ever multi-lingual exhibition, ‘Conectando: Scottish Encounters with Spanish & Portuguese’ (5th April to 29th June 2019).

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Find out more about Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

Related links

Read our interview with ESFF 2017 volunteers Nina Halton and Dumitrita Pacicovschi