Meet the Student Senate: Syed Hussain Ali Shah, Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Officer (BA Practical Filmmaking)
By Elise Czyzowska
26 July 2022
Over the last few months, we’ve been introducing the members of our Student Senate: President Bhumika Bansal, London Vice President Sarah Ditchfield, Berlin Vice President Joshua Carver, and Green Officer Carmina Orozco Lopez. In today’s blog, we’re introducing the final Senate member, Syed Hussain Ali Shah, who holds the position of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Officer.
Syed studies BA Practical Filmmaking (2 Years) at MetFilm School London, and in today’s blog, we learnt more about what drew him towards filmmaking, how he’s finding his course, and why he ran for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Officer for the Student Senate.
When did you decide you wanted to go into filmmaking?
Growing up, I was never a movie buff. However, I have always been fond of storytelling, and that’s the main reason why I got into filmmaking. I started with photography, but soon enough I realised that filmmaking presents the biggest canvas for me to tell stories.
Another thing that inspired me was how elaborately we can portray characters in film. I am obsessed with looking at the world sociologically, where I see people as social beings who are vulnerable and bound to make emotional and impulsive decisions.
Do you think your earliest experiences of film have influenced your style now?
Social media content creation is what I consider to be my first experience of ‘film’. Working at Pakistan’s first digital content platform, Mangobaaz, and later being one of the founding members at one of the leading content agencies right now in Pakistan, ProperGaanda, really helped me to realise what I want to do.
Right before joining MetFilm School, I worked on a web series (Phaatak), which was released in June 2022, with a talented group of filmmakers at Slugline Films back in Pakistan. This experience clarified a lot of questions I had regarding the filmmaking process, and really helped me to understand the film world on a greater level.
What brought you to MetFilm School?
The course itself is what piqued my interest. I already have a BSc in Business Management and Law, but since filmmaking was a dream, I didn’t want to limit myself to one department by doing a Masters. While looking at different courses, BA Practical Filmmaking stood out because of the practical nature of the course, which promised not only to teach us about different facets of filmmaking, but also how to apply them in different formats.
How are you finding your course?
I am thoroughly enjoying it! One thing that has really stood out is how the course tutors promote collaboration amongst peers, which I believe is extremely wise on their part, because it prepares us for the professional world, and shows us the collaborative nature of film.
Throughout our careers, we must collaborate with people with different perspectives and mindsets. I’m glad that I didn’t specialise in one department, because it’s given me more in-depth knowledge about the filmmaking process.
Why did you decide to run for Student Senate?
While applying to the School, I noticed how much they emphasise and take pride in their Student Senate. The Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Officer post attracted me because it focused on not only bringing people from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions together, but also working towards improving their experience.
Can you tell us a little about your Senate position?
I help to give a voice to and represent the minority groups at the School by managing the expectations of special interest groups, and delivering a variety of opportunities to allow for maximised inclusion in activities. This includes organising events, activities, and sessions to raise awareness for these groups.
This post ensures that MetFilm School addresses issues pertaining to diversity, equality, and inclusion, facilitating the promotion of debate on relevant topics within the School.
Finally, if you could be a part of any film, past or present, which would you choose and why?
This is a very tough question, as there are so many projects I wish I was a part of, but right now, I’ve been researching Game of Thrones a lot. My favourite aspect of the show is how the creators brought a fantastical and elaborate world to life with beautiful and interesting character arcs.
The creators successfully engrossed their viewers in backstories and pushed them to read between the lines, searching for deeper meaning in every scene and each line of dialogue. Achieving this is the dream for every storyteller, and that’s the reason I wish I was part of the team that created one of the greatest episodic series of all time.