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Graduate’s latest film gets set to land in cinemas around the world

One of the most anticipated films of the year, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by alumnus Gareth Edwards, is set to land in cinemas around the world next week.

The first film in the Star Wars Anthology series stars Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker and had a budget of $200 million. Its trailer was viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube in its first 24 hours online.

Gareth, 41, graduated from UCA Farnham in 1996 and was welcomed back in 2012 to receive an Honorary Masters degree for his work in film.

After collecting his Honorary Award, Gareth said: “The part of the process of making a film that’s most exciting to me is when it’s all done and you sit down and that thing that you pictured – you hit play and you get to show everyone. I find that everything is for that moment and that’s what keeps me going.”

Gareth began his post-university career in visual effects, working on projects for the BBC before getting his break with the 2010 budget sci-fi movie Monsters. He not only wrote and directed his debut feature film, but also created all of the special effects – an achievement which earned him a nomination for an Outstanding Debut award at the 2011 BAFTAs.

Following the success of Monsters, Gareth was signed up by Hollywood giants Legendary Pictures to direct a big-budget reboot of Godzilla. The film, which starred Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor Johnson, grossed over $500m worldwide and was one of the biggest blockbusters of 2014.

The release of pre-sale tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on 28th November saw excessive demand, with the film breaking records to become the fastest selling pre-sale film of 2016.

Film production at UCA Farnham has a long history of producing talent for the film industry, with other alumni including Emmy-award winner Steve Gomez.