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Campus Life Series: Announcements

Directorial debut for City alumnus to be featured at Cannes Film Festival

Chris Reading’s film Somnus will be sold and distributed by Epic Pictures

by Nicola Ranson (Communications Officer)

Somnus, the directorial debut of City alumnus Chris Reading (BMus 2006, and MA Composition (Electoacoustic), 2008), is to be sold and distributed by Epic Pictures. The sci-fi thriller will also feature at Cannes Film Festival.

Chris Reading completed his studies at City in 2007. After leaving the University, he worked as a film sound designer and recently moved into directing, having success with several short films at festivals across the world. His first feature film, Somnus was co-written with Russell Owen.

Inspired by the works of Douglas Trumbull, Somnus follows the crew of a cargo ship on their final mission between Earth and Mars. Technical difficulties force the ship off course to Somnus, a remote asteroid colony. The crew members soon discover the inhabitants of the colony have a dark past and troubling plans for the future of mankind.

Throughout the film, Reading used practical techniques and shot with models and on location as much as possible. The interiors of Somnus‘ spaceship setting were shot in decommissioned military aircraft at the East Midland. The cast includes Meryl Griffiths (The Missing Hand), Marcus McMahon (A Helical), Mac McDonald (Shooter), and Jennifer Moylan-Taylor (Guardians of the Galaxy).

Alongside promoting Somnus, Chris is also writing a TV series and directing commercial material. Talking of his career choices since leaving City, Chris said: “I make sure I’m always working on at least one interesting sound/music project, mostly to film. I try to keep myself busy with as varied a life as possible.”

Dr Miguel Mera, Head of the Music Department said: "I am delighted to see Chris' career flourish and to hear of this fantastic achievement. This does show how the transferable skills gained during a Music degree can be productively applied in other situations. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this film."

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.