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Mariel Panganiban

BA (Hons) Filmmaking

Mariel Panganiban profile- GFA Did you find it easy to settle in when you first started? 

The very first lesson that the module leaders taught us was that film is a collaboration. So during the orientation week, the Filmmaking course was acquainted and mixed with the Film Studies and Film and Screenwriting courses. We were taken around Digbeth where we got to see the more ‘creative’ part of Birmingham and given a talk about the future of film in the city which set a very motivating mood for us all. 

Everyone was really friendly and enthusiastic to work together — nobody felt “too passionate” about their projects. We all wanted to help. 

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of the course. It’s well-balanced between theory-based lectures and practical workshops, so I’ve never had to experience an “urgh! Another three hour lecture” thought. 

I’ve also loved the enthusiastic support from my lecturers - especially during COVID-19 and quarantine. They made extra effort to ensure none of us felt isolated with any of our dilemmas and were always willing to help. It was this enthusiasm that made us, as a cohort, believe we could do well. 

What do you like about being a student in Birmingham?

Being a student in Birmingham means you are literally in the centre of everything. The city centre has all you can offer in terms of nightlife and have a continuous growing list of places to eat out and explore with friends. You are also never too far from greenery and open park areas if you want something more natural and quiet. The city itself is also very multicultural and brimming with diversity, so you will always find a group that you can feel at home in. 

What advice would you give to someone starting the course in September?

Do your weekly reading! Trying to teach yourself a whole module a week before is not worth the stress, and never be afraid to ask for help. 

Get yourself out there and try something new. You never know, the people you meet along the way could be a potential networking opportunity.

But also have fun! University is essentially everyone’s first taste at being an “adult”, so first year is all about finding that balance. Try to find a balance between work and social life because at the end of the day, you’d hate to look back and wish you had done things differently.