University illustration students work with Northampton Filmhouse to celebrate classic Christmas films

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'It’s been great for the students to have had a real live project to get their teeth into'

Students on the University of Northampton’s BA Illustration course have been getting into the festive spirit with a project inspired by the classic Christmas movies being shown at Northampton Filmhouse over the coming weeks.

Working to a brief jointly put together by their tutor, Zoe Taylor, and the Filmhouse team, the students were each allocated a well-known Christmas movie and asked to pair this with another popular festive film, to create a ‘mash-up’ illustration of the two films together, reflecting the memorable scenes and characters that everyone recognises and loves from these festive favourites.

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The films included Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf, leading to captivating combinations, such as Miss Piggy intruding on iconic scenes from Die Hard and Buddy the Elf teaming up with Kevin McCallister from Home Alone.

Northampton FilmhouseNorthampton Filmhouse
Northampton Filmhouse

Some of the students’ finished illustrations, created as stills and animated gifs, will be shown on-screen pre-show at Northampton Filmhouse’s Christmas screenings and will be used as part of the cinema’s social media campaigns to promote their festive programme.

Chief Executive Jo Gordon said: “Creative learning opportunities are very central to our work at Royal & Derngate and it’s a joy to be able to embed these further into our activities in the Filmhouse as well. We hope the students have enjoyed the opportunity to explore some of the classic iconography of these great Christmas movies and to see some of their work put to good use and brought to a wider audience, as the Filmhouse reopens its doors to the public.”

Zoe Taylor, senior lecturer for the BA Illustrations course at the University of Northampton, said: “It’s been great for the students to have had a real live project to get their teeth into, on such a fun topic, and to get some insight into the operations, marketing and branding of an organisation like Northampton Filmhouse.”

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Following the end of the recent lockdown, Northampton Filmhouse will be welcoming audiences back into its two screens from Friday 11 December, for the first time since March. More details about its forthcoming programme of films, which includes new releases as well as Christmas classics, and an update on the Covid-19 safety measures being put in place, can be found on the cinema’s website,

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