Credit Avel Chuklanov via unsplash

Hitting the ground running: The immediate popularity of the Glasgow University Filmmaking Society

By Freya Corcoran

Freya Corcoran profiles the new Glasgow University Filmmaking Society, and attends its guest speaker event with Sanjeev Kohli.

The Glasgow University Filmmaking Society, run by President Thomas Adams, is one of the latest additions to UofG’s myriad of extracurricular opportunities. Despite its recent inception, it seems to have taken the university by storm. With over 70 keen members taking on roles in the two films for this semester – both written by society members – we can expect to see big things from the premiere. And with big names coming to give words of advice and encouragement to directors and committee members, the society will perhaps make a name for itself in the up and coming world of film in Glasgow.

Delighting film and TV fans alike, Sanjeev Kohli was the first guest speaker to be hosted by the Filmmaking Society. Most well known for his role as Navid Harrid, the anti-villain in the show Still Game, this prolific actor is not only a well known face in British TV, but also an alumnus of the University of Glasgow. 

Kohli spoke fondly of his early days of writing, and of his introduction to the industry through a friend he met during his time at the University (the place to be!). Speaking with constant comedic ease, and telling anecdote after anecdote about his journey to ‘Glasgow fame’, as he put it, his story was reassuring to those of us in the room with no idea of the career we may end up pursuing. With a less than linear journey to success, including a now obsolete maths degree, Kohli was surprised at how many students in the room knew they wanted to enter into the world of film and media, and was impressed by the commitment and eagerness that the society showed.  

Kohli also spoke about the significance of his role as an Asian convenience store owner on screen, not only to the viewers, but to himself. Speaking openly to the filmmaking society about the importance of representation and the complicated, but not necessarily negative, role that stereotypes play within film and TV, the talk had educational relevance for those involved in all roles within filmmaking, not just those who will star on the big screen.

There are many criticisms in regards to the way that Scotland is portrayed in Film and TV, with certain stereotypes manifesting in some of the most well known reflections of Scottish culture, such as Trainspotting and Outlander. Still Game, and its predecessor Chewin’ The Fat, contested these stereotypes, and whilst never reaching complete UK stardom, captured Scottish hearts from start to finish. Consequently, the show’s significance for Scottish TV was, and continues to be, huge – even 3 years after its final episode aired on BBC Scotland. 

The meeting was brilliantly received by members of the society, and thanks to Kohli’s generous words of advice, it seems that the society was more than prepared for 3 weeks of filming that followed.

The Glasgow University Filmmaking Society are on Instagram: @gufilmmaking


Share this story

Follow us online

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments