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12/10/2010

Expert Seal Of Approval For Newport's Film Course

The BA (Hons) Film and Video course at the University of Wales, Newport has recently received coveted Skillset accreditation - making it the only course in Wales with this industry stamp of approval and only the second in the UK.
Already approved by Skillset as part of the Skillset Media Academy Wales curriculum, the course now carries an individual accreditation which highlights the exceptionally high standard of practical filmmaking.
The course was praised for its real-world approach, giving its students experience that will help them move straight into the film industry.
Over the last 40 years, the Newport Film School has established an international reputation for excellence and launched the careers of many creative filmmakers working in Britain and around the world today. The university has been a lead partner of the Skillset Screen Academy Wales for five years and as the Academy merges to become a Skillset Media Academy this month, Newport Film School will set the standard for film education in Wales.
To achieve accreditation, the course was scrutinised by a panel of expert practicing filmmakers who commented: "The Head of School provides positive, energetic leadership and has fostered an atmosphere of creativity and ambition. The course team are passionate, open and responsive to student and industry feedback.
"The structure of the course and the atmosphere of the school create a professional and nurturing environment for students to explore the craft of filmmaking and provide a realistic bridge between university and a real world working environment.
"Practice-based tutors continue to be active in the film industry and graduates and current students are encouraged to take part in professional projects, providing them with a work support network that extends beyond their immediate peers and exposes them to current work practice.
"Graduates demonstrate a good track record of employment within the film industry."
Head of the Newport Film School, Bafta award-winning filmmaker Chris Morris, is delighted with this recent news. He said: "Film at Newport has always had a strong reputation, but gaining this accreditation endorses this view further. Film making here is first and foremost about the art of 'storytelling'.
"When I was a producer at the BBC, I met many film school graduates who seemed to have learnt very little, were not engaged or passionate about storytelling and were ill prepared for surviving in the real world.
"However, the next generation of filmmakers has to come from somewhere and the only alternative to film school is to rely on the industry itself to develop and nurture our future storytellers. I left the BBC to come to work at Newport Film school because I sincerely believe that if the courses are designed and taught well, then 'film school' is the best place to grow the next generation of creative filmmakers and storytellers.
"It was crucial therefore when I left the BBC (after a 20-year career) and went into teaching, that I joined a progressive film school. Newport Film School stood out. It has a long and sustained reputation, producing creative and talented filmmakers that understand how to play with 'story' and create dynamic films."
Newport Film School, part of the wider School of Art, Media and Design at Newport's University, steps into the next chapter of its history when it moves to the brand new City Campus in January. The accreditation panel gave this move confidence, saying: "Facilities, technical resources and support are good. It is expected that the new campus will provide even further opportunities for students to operate in an environment which reflects film industry practice."
Skillset Chief Executive Dinah Caine said: "We are delighted to award this creative and industry focused course with Skillset accreditation.
"The accreditation panel was also very impressed with the highly professional and experienced team leading the course. We very much look forward to a new generation of exciting filmmakers completing the course and helping to shape the future film landscape."
As part of the newly merged Skillset Media Academy Wales, the BA Film & video students will enjoy a range of added benefits, including professional masterclasses and networking opportunities, work placements and access to industry-standard filming equipment.
Hannah Raybould, Academy Project Manager, said: "We are extremely pleased at this outcome - but not surprised. The accreditation of this course is well-deserved and we look forward to promoting its unique status as part of Newport Film School and Skillset Media Academy Wales."
Notable alumni of Newport Film School include: Writer/Director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned, Nanny McPhee & Everybody's Fine with Robert De Niro); Writer/Director Justin Kerrigan (You know I know & Human Traffic); Asif Kapadia who scooped two BAFTA awards for his first feature film The Warrior and has gone on to direct Far North and The Return; Feature Director Phil Clayton (Lesbian Vampire Killers); Rob Hardy (Boy A, Is Anybody There) and Matt Gray (Oliver & Mark of Cain); Television Drama Director Philip John; Peter Watkins-Hughes - BAFTA award-winning Writer/Director - now teaching in Newport Film School, whose debut feature A Bit of Tom Jones? was released in cinemas in 2009.
The University of Wales, Newport is now accepting applications for 2011 entry for the BA (Hons) Film and Video course, along with all other courses at the University (including Documentary Film and Television, Animation and Creative Sound & Music).
Further information about the courses can be found at: www.newport.ac.uk
(KMcA)
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