British film-maker sets the scene for college students

james fairBudding movie makers at East Berkshire College were given an insight into the world of filmmaking, when former student and acclaimed independent film director James Fair visited the Windsor Campus.

James, who graduated from East Berkshire College in 1999 with three A Levels, returned to the place where his success story began to talk to media students about his career in the film industry. A career that has seen him direct and produce programmes for Channel Four, make a number of independent feature films including The Ballard of Des and Mo (2010) and become a university lecturer.

James, who grew up in Slough, said: "The filmmaking industry is a challenging one and I have been fortunate to be consistently working. My career takes me to many different countries and projects, but for me it all began in the media suites of East Berkshire College. The lecturers there changed my view of education, they made learning fun and I gained a variety of valuable skills.

"No matter what success you achieve, you should never forget where you came from. I've been where these students are now and I'm pleased to be able to pass on the benefit of my experience to them. The College helped me get to where I am now, so I was keen to give something back and help the next generation."

Last year, James enjoyed success and controversy at the Melbourne International Film Festival when he made the audience top 10 with a feature length movie he shot, edited and screened in just 72 hours.

For his next film, James is teaming up with another former East Berkshire College student, actress Katie Sheridan. The movie, which centres round a young journalist played by Katie, will begin shooting this summer.

James' visit is part of a series of talks by guest speakers and former students, which are organised by the College to enhance the learning experience of its students and demonstrate how the curriculum relates to future careers.

Media student Alfie Hall (from Maidenhead) said "It was great to meet someone who has been where we are now and made it in the film industry. The fact he's taken time out to return to the College shows how important his college years were to him. I found his talk really inspiring. He even made time to give us one-to-one advice and answer our questions."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength with an outstanding 100% pass rate for A Levels in 2010, placing it in the top 5 per cent of UK schools and colleges.

The College offers a wide range of A Level (AS and A2) subjects at its Windsor Campus including Law, Media Studies, Spanish, Politics, English Literature, Biology, History and Photography. The campus also hosts specialist courses in Science, Business, Media and Retail and Merchandising Display.

For further information on East Berkshire College call 0845 373 2500

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