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29/11/2007

'Fistful Of Euros' For UK Skillset Screen Academies' Collaboration

UK universities - including four Skillset Screen Academies - are the big winners this week with the European Union announcing more than €1.2 million euro (£863,300) funding to encourage collaboration between European film schools.
The €1.2 million euro (£863,300) funding is from the EU's MEDIA Programme - an investment programme running until 2013 that will provide more than €755 million euro (£539m) to strengthen the competitiveness of the European film, TV and new media industries.
European universities formed groups to apply for the funding from MEDIA 2007. Three of the 10 successful bids were led by UK Higher Education institutions - The London Film School, Napier University (part of Skillset Screen Academy Scotland), and the National Film and TV School. These institutions are all part of the Skillset Screen Academy Network.

Two further UK film schools were also successful as partners in bids supported by other consortia - Skillset Bournemouth Screen Academy and Norwich School of Art and Design.
The MEDIA 2007 funding will be used to support a range of projects that enhance education, networking, and the mobility of students and trainers in Europe. The projects will also focus on subjects such as business skills, marketing, film project development and the use of new technologies.
Janine Marmot, Director of Film at Skillset, said: "The Skillset Screen Academy Network represents the best that the UK has to offer in film training and education. It is very rewarding to see the network now extend those links to Europe and with similarly positioned centres of excellence."

Kate O'Connor, Executive Director of Policy and Development at Skillset, said the MEDIA 2007 funding panel's decision reflected the high esteem held for an education model where a Sector Skills Council - Skillset - can work with Higher Education Institutions to create networks of centres of excellence in education, creativity and thought innovation.
Kate O'Connor said: "The Skillset Screen Academy Network was established in 2005. The network represents a new kind of Higher Education infrastructure - a seamless and equal partnership where HEIs and Skillset, as a Sector Skills Council, are able to produce a system that combines industry expertise with the UK's leading creative thinkers and institutions of learning. It's a system that leads to cutting-edge research and development, education, creativity and business innovation."

Agnieszka Moody, Director of UK MEDIA Desk - the UK-based information arm of the MEDIA 2007 Programme - said: "We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this call for proposals. The response from UK Screen Academies demonstrated both great enthusiasm to work with their counterparts in Europe and that what they have to offer was highly valued by both the EU Commission and the partners they brought on board."
Stewart Till, Chairman of the UK Film Council and Deputy Chair of Skillset, said: "The UK has done exceptionally well with this latest round of MEDIA funding. We are certainly delighted and feel incredibly privileged to play such an important and leading role with the Skillset Screen Academies in creating a new landscape of international collaboration of European film schools."
The UK wide network of Screen Academies is a key part of A Bigger Future - the UK Film Skills Strategy. The strategy is funded by National Lottery money from the UK Film Council and from industry contributions via the Skills Investment Fund, a film production levy collected by Skillset. The UK Film Council and Skillset are strategic partners in implementing the strategy.
(SP)
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