Movie project brings new Dimensions to university life

Published: 13 September 2011 at 15:23

Anglia Ruskin students prepare for world premiere at Cambridge Film Festival

A group of BA (Hons) Film Studies students and graduates from Anglia Ruskin University have a special reason for looking forward to the world premiere of Dimensions at the 31st Cambridge Film Festival – they have all had crucial behind-the-scenes roles on the new movie.

Dimensions, which has been described as a period sci-fi, was filmed in and around Cambridge and will be screened for the first time at the Arts Picturehouse on 21 and 22 September.

Directed by Sloane U’Ren, who has worked as a production designer on Batman Begins and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the movie features actors Camilla Rutherford and Henry Lloyd-Hughes – plus a host of young student talent behind the camera.

Dr Tina Kendall, Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Film Studies course, explained how the opportunity came about. She said:

“In the spring of 2010, Ant Neely [the film’s producer and composer] and Sloane U’Ren contacted the Film Studies tutors to see if our students might be interested in getting involved in their project. 

“They needed a group of motivated, responsible, and hard-working students to join them as crew members, and needless to say, our students jumped at the chance to work with filmmakers whose credits include Being John Malkovich, Batman Begins and Six Feet Under.

“Sloane, Ant and the rest of the crew were wonderful mentors, providing guidance and taking the time to get to know students, and trusting several of them with more substantial roles as the shoot progressed.

“We are thrilled and proud to have been a part of this project, and are grateful to Sloane and Ant for giving students this invaluable opportunity. We wish Ant, Sloane, and the rest of the crew the best of luck with the film.”

Ant Neely said:

“We were very proud to have been part of helping some of the next generation of filmmakers get a start in the industry. The students were brought on as work experience production assistants and over the course of the film shoot some of them excelled and were offered further responsibilities.

“The film industry is all about meeting people and it was fantastic to watch some of the Anglia Ruskin students make contacts on Dimensions and go on to further jobs in the industry.

“When we first met the students we told them the shoot would be long days and hard work. I think that getting a real taste of the film industry will help them in deciding if it is the right career path for them.”

Dan Doddington, who graduated in 2010, worked as a production assistant and propmaker on Dimensions and then secured a role on Prometheus, the new Ridley Scott movie being filmed at Pinewood Studios. Elliott Turner, who graduates in October, has already worked on Demons Never Die and Mercenaries, having been a production assistant on Dimensions.

Other students taking part include Nuvia Perez de Griffiths, a current third year BA (Hons) Drama and Film Studies student, who undertook the role of Production Coordinator and Alex Turner, who worked as second-unit photographer.

Nuvia, 32, hopes to set up her own filming company in Panama, her home country, when she graduates next year. She said:

“I met wonderful people, both actors and crew members, who are professionals in the craft of filmmaking.

“I am really looking forward to the premiere at the Cambridge Film Festival, where we will all see the results of our contributions, both big and small. I am so excited to imagine how Dimensions will look on the big screen.”

Alex, who graduated last summer, worked as a camera operator in the second unit and also filmed behind-the-scenes footage for a making-of documentary. The 25-year-old said:

“It was great how it happened, because I found out I was offered a role on the film the same day I got the results for my dissertation.

“As well as Dimensions I’ve worked on a few short films as director of photography and camera operator. One of the great things about my Film Studies course was the contacts I made, as I got to work with people who shared the same passion and interests as me.”

Both Sloane U’Ren and Ant Neely will be taking part in ‘The Price of Storytelling’, a half-day event in Cambridge on 21 September which will explore new ways of funding films and the growth of online platforms and self-distribution. The event, which will bring together an expert panel of film makers, distributors and producers, is being organised by Creative Front Cambridgeshire, which is based within Anglia Ruskin, and its special interest group Wired.

Wired ‘Champion’ Shreepali Patel, a Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Our aim is to produce students with excellent and creative production and storytelling skills.

“Our involvement with Creative Front, through Wired, takes this one step further and provides not only a vital link with industry and future employers, but also an essential understanding of the ever changing world of fundraising, production and distribution.”

To watch a trailer of Dimensions, visit