Hollywood Hits Highfield

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Tom Stacey and Steve O’Shea interview Gemma Arteton on the concourse

When Union Films won the opportunity to host the world premiere of The Disappearance of Alice Creed, all facebook users who voted for Union Films were given the chance to claim a ticket for the event.

In a unique marketing promotion, the competition to win the premiere was made available to cinema’s nationwide. Facebook users could then download the facebook application in order to vote for their favourite cinema.

Union Films, a student organisation at the University of Southampton that is run entirely by volunteers, beat corporations like the Vue chain of cinemas to host the premiere. Jacob Deane, head projectionist of Union Films, explains that ‘a premiere is a very exciting event to hold for any cinema, especially a film society run entirely by volunteers! It was really great to beat the commercial cinemas and multiplexes. Hopefully we can bring some more exiting events such as previews and maybe another premiere to the Students’ Union!’

The red carpet was rolled out between the student pub, The Stags Head, and the union shop – a very different set-up and location to Leicester Square, where most premieres in Britain are held. The crowd that gathered may not have been the usual excited teenagers and film fanatics, but students lined the walkway to catch more than a glimpse of their main attraction, bond girl Gemma Arterton.

Looking radiant in black hareem pants and a pair of very high-heeled shoes, she posed and pouted for local and national press before answering questions from local and student journalists.

Guests to the premiere were treated to a glass of champagne before taking their seats in the cinema, where Arterton joined the film’s director and producer for a short question and answer session hosted by Jacob Deane. They left shortly after, leaving the remaining students to enjoy a hostage thriller in their black tie attire.

The story of Southampton hosting the premier has hit the national news. Scott Mills, a former Southampton resident took time in his Wednesday show to explain to the nation the odd image of a world famous actress appearing in front of the Stags Head. The stars themselves didn’t seem to mind though, smiling broadly throughout, and engaging with the star struck student media representatives. “Having done Film at University, I’m really pleased a student organization won the competition” said J Blakeson, the director. “This is really close to my heart.”

The film was full of twists and turns, although unrealistic and uneasy at times. The violence was graphic and the dialogue a little stilted, however the film did provide some much needed humour. The audience laughed hysterically at several points that were probably crucial for some artistic portray of… something.

The night was enjoyed by all the attendees we spoke to, regardless of their opinion of the film. It definitely made a Tuesday night on campus far more of an event than ever before.

The Wessex Scene would like to hereby formally congratulate Union films for all their hard work and achievements.

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