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Weekend library closure for ‘Criminal’ filming

SOAS Library is set to close on 25-26 October for the filming of Hollywood movie Criminal.

The film stars Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, Alice Eve and Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by Ariel Vroman, it is the story of a dead CIA agents whose memories are transferred to a prisoner. The movie has been filmed at locations around London and the crew will move to Russell Square for shooting in coming weeks.

In an email to all students, Library Director John Robinson said “the Library will close earlier than usual on Saturday 25th October and remain closed on Sunday 26th October.”

“The reason for the closure is that there is a feature film called “Criminal” which is being shot in London at the moment…and will be filming inside the SOAS Library on Sunday 26th October.”

The email says it has made arrangements for students to have access to other libraries in the University of London and SOAS students are able to access 170 libraries through the SCONUL scheme.

SOAS also used the email to promote opportunities to appear in the film as extras; saying students would be paid £70 for five and a half hours work on Sunday 26 October.

Some students have taken to SOAS Rants to express their frustration over the closure. Olimpia Burchiellaro said the School was “selling out for the cash once again”.

Daniel Worters said “I think it’s pretty shocking that the library is being rented out for a film, during term time when students need to use it to study. If SOAS intended to use the money for something positive, paying the fractionals a decent wage perhaps, I would be happy to revise my opinion.”

Others, however, felt that it was positive exposure for SOAS. Mohammad Aasim Mirza posted”There are no essays due, its not dissertation season, there are no exams, so what’s the problem?  I for one am glad that SOAS gets a little big screen time.”

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