Profile: Valeria Ryabchina

Name: Valeria Ryabchina

Year: 2

Degree: Psychology and economics

Hometown: Saint Petersburg


What society are you involved with and what is your role within it?

So it’s the Filmmakers society of St Andrews which was founded this year, it’s a brand new society and I am one of the founders and currently the Vice-president of it.


What do you like / dislike about your role?

It’s a lot of responsibility. Well, I guess I like being able to be in charge of what’s going on and really deciding what’s gunna happen like shaping the future of the society. But on the other hand it means that I am constantly busy and I cannot skip a day without working on the society, because if I don’t do things then the society will just not move forwards and yeh... It’s quite a demanding task I would say.


When you founded the Filmmakers society did you found it with a bunch of people? How did you go about it?

So the way it was founded is that last year we were gunna initially do a drama play and my academic Dad wrote a script, but the mermaids did not let us do it because the set was very complicated and they didn’t think it was thought through sufficiently. You needed to go through a selection process if you wanted to put on a show with mermaids so we didn't get through and then we decided to make a movie instead, just like give it a go and see how it goes. So we made a film during the Winter break last year. We stayed for like another ten days after exams had ended so we got home right before Christmas. We decided that it is such a great opportunity and such a great thing to be able to make films but there aren’t many opportunities to make films in St Andrews, there isn’t a society and if you wanted to make a film you had to get your own resources and get hold of equipment so we thought about starting a society.

We got in touch with the student’s association and got their permission, got a grant, started buying equipment, started doing all the publicity.

And where did you manage to get the grant?

It was the alumini. It’s on the union website but there is a grant given by the union but then a separate grant given by the alumini. So it’s managed by the university but the money of the alumini.


What was the movie that you made originally?

It was written by my academic Dad, Terry Lee and the style could be called German expressionism although you could trace the influence of several styles. It was a half an hour long film and we screened it for the first time as part of the ‘On the Rocks’ festival last year. I was a producer and I did some stage management like set design.

How would you recommend our Hercampus readers get involved in the Filmmaker's society?

You should definitely come along to our showcase which is happening soon! There will be a really small charge for that if you weren't involved in filming. Then next semester you could always get involved: we have short films and feature films being made and also an opportunity to send films that are being made this semester and the future to festivals in the UK. We are also trying to get European festivals and maybe bigger festivals with other universities in the second semester.

You can either follow us on Facebook, ‘The filmmakers society’ or you can email us [email protected] or you can follow us on Instagram because we’ve launched it as well.

Favourite book: Agatha Christie’s books in general, The Orient Express

Favourite movie: The Great Gatsby

Favourite place in St Andrews: My room with all the film equipment in it

Something on your St Andrews bucket list: Break into the castle

Plans for the future/ dream job: Not a dream job but for the future, make sure the society grows bigger by my fourth year and has gotten more successful.

Dream vacation: An island with no Internet

Three things you can’t live without: Coffee, dance classes, sunshine

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate