Have a love for film?: Check out ‘CUT TO’, The Lancaster University Film Journal

‘Dedicated to making film more accessible to the student body’

Even with cinemas closed and countless long-awaited films having their releases delayed until what feels like the end of time, films continue to be an immensely important part of many people’s lockdown. The comforting, warming hug offered by an old classic or the excitement of discovering something new on Netflix, TV, and film is a huge part of why any of us are still even remotely sane. But how to get involved with such things at uni?

Don’t worry. Co-founded by Dr. Bruce Bennett, senior lecturer at the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, CUT TO has you covered for all your film-loving needs.

Want to just talk about how awesome your favourite film is? Covered. Want to get a deeper understanding of how films are made? Doubly covered. Want to make your own? You couldn’t have picked a better time to start.

‘We are dedicated to making film more accessible to the student body’

Launching a society at all is hard work, but to launch one in the middle of a pandemic? CUT TO said: “The lockdown doesn’t really affect us much.

“We started officially back in September, meaning we’ve been running entirely online since then. Launching in the middle of a pandemic was difficult but we are so proud that we were able to release our first issue, and now are working on our second!”

The pandemic and the resultant lockdown has obviously impacted CUT TO’s ability to be “able to host in-person film screenings, and podcasts, or interviews”, but CUT TO said they’ve been able to more than compensate by “encouraging socially creative and easy-to-do activities under quarantine restrictions, like making under one minute short films, or writing articles, or giving film reviews.”

CUT TO continued to tell us: “We are dedicated to making film more accessible to the rest of the student body and to showcase the exceptional work done by members of the team, and other students. We hope to make others inspired to write and critically analyse the media they consume, and to encourage a deeper love for films!”

‘We’re always open to new people’

CUT TO said: “Our central team consists of 12 people, but our entire team consists of about 20.”

This, however, is by no means the extent of their ambitions, as CUT TO has plans to continually grow its social media presence and reach a “wider audience” as well as a “wider range of submitters, since it would be great to hear from students who love film!” They said: “We’re always open to new people who might want to join us.”

‘Getting involved is easy’

CUT TO said that the strive for promotion and engagement is core to club, as more interest and more submissions mean ever newer and more interesting content. They said: “CUT TO really prides itself in promoting an active appreciation for film, cinema, and all related subjects.”

Submitting to CUT TO is not only “good for people to express their opinions about anything film-related”, but also “great in terms of portfolio and resume!”

The submissions process, open for a month and a half after the publication of each issue, has been streamlined to be as easy and user friendly as possible, meaning just about anyone can submit “an article, or anything that fits our requirements, about the topic of the specific issue”, and accept short films and video essays “all year round”.

Additionally, CUT TO is also currently holding a cover art competition for those with a more artistic bent, which closes at the same time as their regular submissions.

‘We hope that the uni can help us by promoting and encouraging students to interact with us’

Despite their rising profile and popularity, CUT TO is not related to the university or any department, outside of using WordPress to help publish. Word of mouth promotion from the staff and students at Lancaster Uni has been vital so far, although CUT TO said: “That the uni can help us by promoting and encouraging students to interact with us”.

The society sounded optimistic that the uni would soon recognise CUT TO as not just a society for film lovers but as a “statement about the creative, practical ability of students of film and film-related study”. This indicates the expectation that official university endorsement and support, indicative of CUT TO’s growing popularity, will follow in the very near future.

At the time of writing, the second issue is underway, with written and cover art submissions open until March 15th. The theme is “Pioneers of Genre” (genre-related directors, films, and other media) and anyone from any department can submit.

For those wishing to find out more about CUT TO, please follow the link to their Instagram or website.

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