Since leaving QMU in 2020, Theatre and Film graduate Alexandra Gilbert has won and been shortlisted for various awards at international film festivals for her final project, the documentary Welcome to Chernobyl, which follows a tour guide working in Ukraine's Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. We caught up with the freelance filmmaker to find out about her QMU experience and what she's been up to since graduating.


Why did you choose to study at QMU, and what attracted you to the course?

I knew I wanted to study in Edinburgh, and at the time, I was teetering between focusing on either theatre or film but couldn't quite figure out what I was more drawn to. So, with this course focused on both subjects, and at a university situated not far from the city centre - the BA (Hons) Theatre and Film ticked all the boxes for me!

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The wide range of modules available for us to choose from each semester.

Were there any particular course activities you found especially interesting?

Film production and screenwriting; both modules allowed you to be super creative and helped us gain and develop these vital skills for a career within the industry.

How did your lecturers support your learning?

They were wonderful! The lecturers at QMU are so supportive and warm. I found them very approachable, which made the whole university experience far smoother and more enjoyable.

Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

Go for it! If you, like I was, know that you want to work in the creative arts but still can't quite decide which area you want to focus on – this is the course for you. QMU's Theatre and Film degree truly allows you to try a bit of everything whilst focusing on what areas you want to specialise in at the same time.

What's your 'top tip' for making the most of being a student?

There's no right way to 'do' uni life; experience it how you want to experience it, BUT do use and abuse those student discounts while you can!! You'll miss them when they're gone!

What was the most valuable lesson that you learned at university?

How to be more independent and also how to adapt to new and sometimes uncomfortable situations. 

Can you tell us about your life post-graduation?

I entered the short documentary I made for my dissertation into film festivals across the world and managed to bag quite a few wins. STV also interviewed me about my experience of filming my documentary in Chernobyl, and I now work as a freelance filmmaker alongside my best friend.

"QMU's Theatre and Film degree truly allows you to try a bit of everything whilst focusing on what areas you want to specialise in at the same time."
Alexandra Gilbert, BA (Hons) Theatre and Film

[Published January 2022]