Advertisement for the CUFA's Fresh2Film seriesELLIE ETCHES

Cambridge is well-known for its busy theatre scene. Annually, freshers are welcomed into the world of the ADC theatre and Corpus Playroom. With mainshows, lateshows, smokers, showcases, one-night stands, plus all the college-led productions that run throughout term as well, it’s hard to see how there could be any more opportunities for students interested in amateur dramatics on the stage.

“The arts are what got all of us through this pandemic – Netflix has been the go-to isolation pastime for many.”

But looking at the film scene in Cambridge – there’s a significantly more ‘underground’ feel about this creative community. That is … until now. This Michaelmas, Cambridge University Film Association (otherwise known as CUFA) has rebranded and is back with a fresh new committee and a shiny new website, and is bursting with events and opportunities for budding filmmakers and total newcomers alike. I spoke to the Presidents of our committee, Lucy Green and Rowan Hall Maudslay about the future of CUFA.

What would you say is the main aim of CUFA?

To provide support wherever we can to increase participation in filmmaking in Cambridge. Filmmaking can appear daunting and exclusionary (especially because of all the tech required), but we are keen to try and break down these barriers, and expose people to the behind-the-scenes workings of this art form.

What are you most excited about for CUFA in the coming year?

Lots! This term we’re launching a new series of workshops which tie in with a filmmaking event we’re running for beginners, called Fresh2Film; it should be a great way for new people to get involved. We’re also arranging a bunch of cool guest speakers following on from our successful ‘Behind The Scenes’ series this summer. Plus, on the watching side of things we’re setting up a weekly film-club.

What’s your advice for students (especially freshers) who’ve never been involved in film before?

The CUFA's latest Speaker eventELLIE ETCHES

There’s no shame in having no experience, you have to start somewhere! The first thing you ever make is unlikely to win at Cannes, but it will certainly be a great learning experience – with each film you make your abilities will rapidly improve. Just get involved: write a bit of a script, take photographs, play with lighting, whatever interests you just mess about doing it, because the best way to work through something and learn more is by practising it, even on a small-scale.

How have you adapted in the face of Covid-19?

Fortunately, filmmaking often happens outdoors, and with a small cast and crew you can be within the six person limit – so it’s just about adapting and running events which embrace these peculiar circumstances creatively. Where possible we’ve moved our non-making events online but have been investigating the possibilities of socially distanced screenings and outdoor events. There have been some frustrations, but there are a lot of benefits too — even if you’re in isolation you can make a film, all you need is some sort of camera. In a sense, having to think outside the box can make us more creative, and our Fresh2Film festival will hopefully showcase that.


Mountain View

Hope and the Zombie Trope in the time of Corona

Why is film so important in the current circumstances?

It isn’t – we’re all retraining, rethinking, and rebooting so we can get real jobs! Just kidding, it’s vitally important for so many reasons. The arts are pretty much what got all of us through this pandemic – Netflix has been the go-to isolation pastime for many. It’s crucial for our wellbeing, not only as something we can turn to for a distraction, but also as a creative output.


What’s clear from our discussion is how excited we are to watch as CUFA grows and hopefully establish a real community of filmmakers across Cambridge. If you’re interested in seeing more from CUFA then find out more information on our website ( or check out our Facebook page ( for news of upcoming events.

Equally, have a look at our promo film: