James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Nia Owen

I am beyond grateful to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation’s support towards my MPhil in Film and Screen Studies at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. This expensive course would not have been possible without the Foundation’s help; I am thrilled that it exists so that it can continue supporting passionate students like myself in furthering their education. Receiving this grant from the Foundation meant that I could focus on my studies, a luxury that did not go unappreciated.


My nine-month course provided a grounding in film theory and history, before allowing us to choose modules according to our interests. Though a short course, it has been fantastic observing how much my research and writing skills have improved, due to the one-on-one supervisions with excellent scholars in my department. I was able to form a very close relationship with many of the academics; their feedback and support have allowed my interests to come to fruition in ways I did not expect. I was able to write essays ranging from the Welsh documentary about Trefeurig, Sleep Furiously (Koppel, 2008), the Aberfan disaster of 1966 and how contemporary moving image has responded to it, to fashion films.


Though I had to write my dissertation in lockdown due to Covid-19, my supervisor was always approachable virtually and supportive beyond her role, allowing me to conduct research I am very proud of. Other than the course itself, it was great to be able to experience Cambridge-specific traditions, such as matriculation and college formals. I felt very fortunate to live in such a beautiful city steeped with history. 


After graduation, I am going to pursue writing, and soon, I hope to work in film programming and criticism. I also want to continue my MPhil dissertation research into a PhD in due time. For now, I am planning on moving to Spain as an English Language Assistant, while writing reviews, articles, and a novel in my free time.