The Coventry University East Asian Film Society (CUEAFS) was founded in 2009 by students of Coventry University‘s Department of Media and Communication under the guidance and with the help of Spencer Murphy, Lecturer in Film and Visual Culture. The society was established with the aim of promoting and celebrating cultural diversity by raising awareness of East Asian cinema and tradition among students of Coventry University.
Initially, this aim was achieved by organising free weekly film screenings of Asian films, open to all students, usually followed by discussions or Q&A sessions with guest speakers from the field of East Asian cinema. The society’s desire to enrich the cultural experience of Coventry University students resulted in the organisation of small internal events in addition to the weekly film screenings, such as the Chinese Spring Festival Gala and the Halloween Japanese horror themed party.
During its second year, the society grew more professional and more dedicated to expanding beyond its initial programme of weekly film screenings by adding more events and participating in more festivals, and thus bringing more knowledge and cultural awareness to the students of the University, as well as to its members.
Throughout its development, CUEAFS participated in the official premiere of Momoko Ando‘s ‘Kakera – A Piece of Our Life’, as well as in the filming and production of the official DVD extras for the film. Along with this, the society went on to be an official representative of Coventry University at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, for three years in a row, together with being an official guest at the Terracotta Film Festival in London, Zipangu Fest in London and the premiere of Shinji Imaoka‘s ‘Underwater Love’.
In collaboration with society sponsors Third Window Films and the Warwick Arts Centre, CUEAFS organised the first ever edition of ‘East Winds: A Third Window Film Festival’ – an event designed with the specific aim of raising awareness and enhancing the cultural experience of all students in the West Midlands. The second year of East Winds attracted sponsorship from Nissan Infiniti and attracted special guests from the East Asian film industry, including legendary Hong Kong Director Herman Yau.
CUEAFS continues to grow in stature and reputation, winning ‘Best Student Film Society’ in the UK at the 2012 British Federation of Film Societies Awards, ‘Best Society’ at the 2011 Coventry University Students’ Union Awards, and the Cecil Angel Cup in the same year.