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27/02/2012

Plans Announced For Film Academy

Plans for a new academy to train the next generation of UK film makers have been unveiled.
Education Secretary Michael Gove is to fund a new film academy for young people to inspire and train the next generation of film-makers.
Mr Gove said the scheme, to be led by the BFI (British Film Institute), would give talented pupils the opportunity to learn the skills they need to follow in the footsteps of Oscar-winning directors like Danny Boyle and Tom Hooper.
Mr Gove said he was especially keen that the project helped children from more disadvantaged backgrounds get into film.
The film academy – which will get £3m from the Department for Education over three years – will give talented 16- to 19-year-olds "a unique talent development experience working with the film industries and film professionals".
This will build on the BFI's existing education, talent and skills initiatives across the UK.
The academy will work with schools, colleges and industry to identify and develop young film-makers and film professionals with exceptional levels of creative talent, technical skills, commitment and tenacity.
The academy will operate on a year-round programme on Saturdays and in the evenings in local and regional centres with 5,000 young people.
Up to 200 young people will then be selected for a pioneering elite residential film making course. They will be taught the technical, curatorial, business and marketing skills necessary for a successful career in film.
Mr Gove said: "We have a tremendous heritage in film – this country has produced some of the biggest names in cinema, both behind and in front of the camera.
"The new academy is open to young people from all backgrounds. But I am especially keen that those who don't have certain advantages, still get the best chance to have a career in films. This project should provide opportunities to young people who might otherwise miss out.
"The academy will play its part in helping ensure the British film industry remains competitive.”
The project is expected to be outlined when an independent review of cultural education by Classic FM Managing Director Darren Henley is published this week.
Mr Henley said: "The British influence on film is immense and informs much of the thinking on the way that the cinema of today is being made around the world. Whether it is names from the past such as Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, or the latest box office success such as Danny Boyle and Tom Hooper, Britain continues to lead the way in many areas of film-making.
"The BFI is best placed to build on the work done in film education in recent years. I expect the BFI to be bold in bringing these film activities together into a joined-up coherent film education offer.”
Meanwhile BFI Boss Amanda Nevill said: "Talent is universal but opportunity is not and the new film academy initiative is all about creating greater access to more opportunities for young people to develop their skills and talent. British film and filmmaking talent is world class - you just have to look at our success at the box office and the awards season to see it. But we must not lose the momentum. We are really excited to be able to establish this new academy programme as it dovetails neatly with the continued investment we and our partners are putting into making sure film is at the heart of education.”
Actor Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Band of Brothers, said: "Any scheme that promotes opportunities for people from all backgrounds is worthwhile. For art to continue to be truly representative of who we are, it's important that these kids have a voice. Hopefully the new film academy will help with that."
Mr Henley's review is expected to set out a range of plans that he says will make cultural education in England "the envy of the world".
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