What the city of Leeds has in store for MetFilm School students
By Elise Czyzowska
21 April 2022
The process of choosing where to study can be a tricky one. You want to find a university which will foster your education, but one which also has a lot to offer in terms of student life and extracurricular activities. Although there are plenty of UK cities that meet this criteria, we believe that Leeds is the perfect place to begin your career in the screen industries.
In today’s blog, we’re sharing three reasons why we’re excited to welcome students to the city.
History and culture
If you’ve ever visited Leeds, it’s not difficult to understand why we fell in love with the city. With a fantastic mixture of history and constant development, there is always something new to visit, explore, or take part in.
The city is home to museums and galleries (we love the Tetley), and at Millennium Square, an award-winning outdoor space in the city centre, you can find new events and festivals going on throughout the year, from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, to Leeds Pride. When the space is not playing host to celebrations, it’s also the perfect picturesque spot for a quick lunch between classes.
In terms of cinema history, Hyde Park Picture House has been showing and celebrating independent cinema for the last 100 years, and the cities first film society was established all the way back in 1933, meaning there’s a lot of history for you to get involved with (read more about the history of the group in this great article). Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming blog about the award-winning productions that have been shot in Leeds, and in the meantime, why not look into the submission dates for the three annual film festivals that the city runs, Leeds Film Festival, Leeds Young Film Festival, and the Independent Directions Film Festival.
Other amazing sites and cultural events around the city you should explore…
- Belgrave Street Feast (April to June)
- Fireworks at the Roundhay (November)
- 02 Academy Leeds (year-round events)
- Hyde Park Book Club (year-round events)
The transport links
The easiest way to travel around Leeds is by bus, although there are also good cycle routes, as well as a taxi services (including Uber). Where the transport really shines, however, is in the access that it grants you to the rest of the UK. Leeds Train Station offers direct routes to the likes of Manchester, London, and Edinburgh, and in less than two hours, you could be amidst the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.
Surrounding the city, there are plenty of parks and green spaces for you to recharge or find inspiration for your next project. A couple of the best include Roundhay Park, Temple Newsam and, in the cities ‘financial quartier’, the beautiful Park Square.
These travel opportunities are especially beneficial for film students, because they remove the limitations of setting or location that might otherwise plague your projects. Need a beach backdrop? Hornsea is less than a 90 minutes drive away. Got an idea for a period piece set in the distant past? Take a 50-minute train to Harrogate, a Victorian spa town. Want to incorporate both the city and the countryside into your short? You couldn’t be better placed!
The student life
Besides things like travel and the links to the film industry, Leeds is also a great place for students. With five universities already based here, the city has much to offer to its diverse, young population. From a range of food and vintage markets (Kirkgate and Briggate are good places to start), to cafes and coffee shops (including Archive, located right next door to our Prime Studios location), there truly is something for everyone.
Looking to catch some live music? Check out these venues:
- Brudenell Social Club (the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand have both played secret gigs there!)
- The Wardrobe (upcoming shows include Gracie Abrams and Kate Nash)
- HiFi (three-time winner of ‘Best Nightclub’ and ‘Best Live Music Venue’ at the annual Leeds Bar & Club Awards)
- Headrow House (another classic, well-loved by students for its roof-top bar and eclectic event calendar)
Wondering which pubs or bars are worth a visit? Here are our top picks:
- Kirkstall Brewery Taproom (our local pub, only a couple minutes walk from our Prime Studios campus!)
- Whitelocks (this is the oldest pub in Leeds, which has been open for 301 years)
- The Dry Dock (enjoy a drink on an authentic docked boat – which also happens to be one of the locations of the city-infamous Otley Run)
- Smokestack (a favourite amongst students, their signature cocktails include Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Casanova Shake)
- Bondobust (this brand only exist in the North, making this a great opportunity to experience some craft beer and Indian street food)
On top of this, the average cost of student living in Leeds tends to be much cheaper than other cities in the North (and it’s definitely a far more affordable place when compared to the likes of London). Plus, with the hospitality industry so far-reaching, there are plenty of part-time jobs on offer too.