About OFU

Welcome to the website of Oscar Film Unit, or OFU (pronounced off-yew).

This blog – formerly hosted on Blogspot but now on WordPress – is dedicated to film-making, exhibition and happy memories of our time at Surrey. All former members and friends are welcome to contribute.

What is OFU?

For many years, OFU was the University of Surrey’s film society. As far as we know, it started out life in the 1950s making films (shooting on 16mm) before also taking on a role as the campus cinema. OFU span-out Surrey Student Cinema as a separate society in around 2002, before both organisations folded due to a lack of interest. After a couple of false starts, today, the university has a film society in a theatrical environment once again.

Here is a brief history of OFU as we understand it.

It’s hardly worth mentioning after 65 years, but clearly Oscar Film Unit is not, and has never been, related to or affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), or the Academy Awards (“Oscars”). Nor is OFU affiliated to MGM.

About the authors

This website was started by David A and Andy Ga, members of OFU in the late 1990s. Through this website, we have connected with many of our own contemporaries but also former members from much longer ago, including those who were directly involved in shooting some of the films in our archive.

(The Manor House Beer Festival film was about 20 years old when we first encountered it. Alarmingly, the films we made ourselves are now older than this.)

We are extremely grateful to former members who have shared their experiences with us. We are also very grateful to Colin Edwards (Elec Eng ’75) whose website UoSSnaps gave us a rich picture of the history of the society and university life.

After university, David and Andy, along with another David (T) and another Andy (Gr), continued to develop our interest in filmmaking. We were keen to develop our technical expertise and experimented with lighting, editing, sound design and special effects, amongst other things. We released a handful of shorts under the name Xillennia Films. Our most proficient effort was probably The King And I. We also contributed to the production of Bryan O’Neil’s first short film, prior to his successful feature debut with Booked Out.

We also continued our interest in film exhibition, the business of cinema, and the history of old cinema buildings.

About this website

This website is hosted in the UK in an eco-friendly data centre.

This website is powered by WordPress. (Yes, we’ve kept it simple with the default theme and minimal plugins.)

Our films are hosted on YouTube.