Literatures, Languages & Cultures

The Film Dispatch: The story continues

We sat down with online student-run magazine The Film Dispatch to catch up on their first six months and hopes for the future.

The Film Dispatch founder Niamh and social media manager Kunlin in front of the main library in George Square
Chief Editor Niamh and Social Media Manager Kunlin outside the main library in George Square

The Film Dispatch was launched in February 2022 by a group of students at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

The magazine focuses on film journalism and criticism that is accessible to all, and offers a platform for everyone to share and explore their love for film as well as building skills and connections with other film enthusiasts.

We speak to students Heather, Sukanya, Sasha and Niamh about what the magazine means to them and what advice they would give to someone looking to get involved.

“Jump In!”

The Film Dispatch encourages everyone, no matter experience and background, to get involved. Heather, an MSc Intermediality student and regular contributor to the magazine, says: “Jump in! This is a great opportunity to critically examine your favourite films, practise communicating in an exciting way, write for deadlines, and be published online.”

Contributor and MSc Literature and Modernity student Sukanya chimes in: “Definitely go for it! I personally don’t know many forums like The Film Dispatch where you can talk about films so passionately. It’s a space for everyone to bring in their opinions and common interests, and writing for them has been such a great experience and honour for me.”

Niamh, a Film student and chief editor and founder of The Film Dispatch, considers launching the magazine as the most defining experience of her time at University of Edinburgh. “I have learnt so much in my role as chief editor – I’ve learnt about editing, proof-reading, email and social media marketing, website management and so many other things that I never would have learnt about if I hadn't taken this chance.”

Gaining confidence and meeting new friends

The group is particularly keen to stress how much the magazine means to them. Not only will it look good on their portfolios and CVs, Sukanya believes that contributing to the magazine has led her out of her comfort zone and will “encourage me to write more reviews.” She references everyone’s work ethic and “the transparency from the editors when they discussed my pieces with me during the editing process.”

Sasha, a Film student managing and editing The Film Dispatch website, highlights the inclusivity at The Film Dispatch. She has enjoyed managing content in both English and Chinese, allowing for writers to contribute in any way they feel comfortable. And the most fulfilling moment for her? Seeing comments on articles and feeling like everyone involved were “ferrymen between different souls.”

Amongst other things, Sasha was in charge of uploading articles prior to the launch of each issue, and says it has been an honour to read articles before everyone else.  “Like watching the premiere of a film,” she jokes.

“I will happily mention The Film Dispatch to future employers and look for similar writing opportunities,” Heather adds. “There’s a buzz from seeing your name and words in print.”

Niamh has particularly loved liaising with contributors and team members to make ideas come to life. “Through the magazine, I've connected with people from around the world that I never would have connected with otherwise. It's amazing to see what a love of film can do!”

Hopes for the future

The Film Dispatch logo

Although the end credits may be rolling for the current The Film Dispatch team, they’re still full of ideas of ways to develop the magazine.

Niamh can’t “wait to see what the next team do with the magazine. I would love to see it go into print or maybe include video essays or a podcast.”

Heather shares her thoughts: "The Film Dispatch could continue to develop links with local cinema groups, negotiate free tickets for correspondents and link with experimental film-makers and tiny independent companies, to give the oxygen of publicity. What's going on in Scottish film-making now? What's the new thing brewing?”

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

And... action! Film students launch new magazine