Introducing Julian Alexander '17
Master's of fine arts, leeds beckett university
I attended Leeds Beckett University underneath the UDA program and studied filmmaking. I went to the school because it was very competitive and it was just really nice to be in a place that wasn't New Mexico, where I used to live. Being in the UK gave me a chance to get an understanding of different cultures.
My program allowed me to explore my own kind of creative journey, which made me grow so much stronger as a person. I've developed so many skills and met people from all around the world as a result of being [at Leeds Beckett]. I got the chance to go everywhere due to the films that I created in the program.
Some of my most successful works, mainly a film named Leo, are the reasons why I am in the position that I am now — that is, being a university professor, which I got hired to teach the same year I graduated. And I've been teaching across different schools since, first at New Mexico State University and also at El Paso Community College. I currently teach at the University of East London as a lecturer, where I'm also completing my PhD.
At Leeds Beckett, I wrote a film about a French man smuggling people from France to England. I'm from the borderlands, so topics like that were something that was very familiar to me, and when I came over here to Europe, this idea of borders had multiplied. The film, Leo, ended up being one of my most successful projects to this day. The movie went to a lot of places — the highlight is probably the fact that we were flown to a festival in Egypt by the film festival. We were nominated for a postgraduate student award at the BFI London Film Festival for the film as well. These are opportunities I never even knew existed for me. Those moments and those things were a direct result of the opportunities that UDA provided.
The brilliant thing about this program is that I wouldn't have been the same if I was somewhere else who knows, that could have been a different trajectory — but I had so much success in my graduate program. It was the best decision I could have made.
In the long run, I would like to be making films full-time, but this is such a great intermediary situation I'm in. I get a paycheck for teaching about film and I'm developing my skills at the same time, and as a result that gives me all the time in the world to actually develop other projects."
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