Studying in one of the most famous festival cities in the world brings with it exciting opportunities – that’s what Film student Alice Shone found when she landed a placement with the Edinburgh International Film Festival during her undergraduate studies.
Originally from Lancaster, Alice moved to the Borders with her parents when she was 11 and to Edinburgh when she was 18. Passionate about film and photography, she was delighted when she managed to secure a placement as an assistant at the prestigious event.
The experience gave her a surprising insight into the behind-the-scenes work that goes on.
“I had no idea how any festival, whether it was literature, film or music, was run,” she admitted. “There’s just no way of knowing. I was actually very surprised about how few members of staff there were in the beginning. By the end there were hundreds, but there were only a few people who decided what films were going to be shown. It has opened my eyes up completely.”
As someone who loves films and TV shows, Alice says the best thing about her placement was getting up close and personal with the industry.
“Just being part of it was amazing,” she said. “I got to go through all of the archive footage from the old catalogues and brochures, from the very first one to last year’s, because I was helping the artistic director for the coming festival.
“It was so cool looking back over not just all of the old films, but also the old adverts including really old whiskey adverts. They’d all be in black and white or written on paper we don’t use anymore, so just feeling those things from almost 70 years ago was brilliant. I’d look forward to it every day getting to look through a few more old films in my spare time.”