Programme aimed at 16-19-year-olds to receive £3m over three years; “academy all about creating greater access” to UK industry, says BFI CEO Amanda Nevill.
The UK government is backing a new film academy to be run by the BFI, the education secretary Michael Gove has announced.
The film academy – which will get £3m from the Department for Education over three years – will give 16-19-year-olds, “a unique talent development experience working with the film industries and film professionals,” said Gove, who stressed the need for the project to reach more disadvantaged youth “who might otherwise miss out”.
The academy, set to begin this autumn, will initially work with 5,000 16-19 year-olds from schools, colleges and industry to identify potential talent, then whittle that number down to 200 selected for a “pioneering elite residential film making course”, on which they will be taught technical, curatorial, business and marketing skills.
Teachers will include UK producers, filmmakers and technical experts (all as yet unnamed) as well as academics.
The course will be free for participating students but the application process is not expected to positively discriminate in favour of disadvantaged youth.
The initial programme will run on Saturdays and in the evenings in local and regional centres, with the residential programme expected to run during the summer.
The £3m budget will equate to £1m per-year and is an addition to previously announced BFI film budgets.
BFI CEO Amanda Nevill commented: “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.”
Michael 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.
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”.
His recommendations are expected in particular to focus on how children from poorer backgrounds can access a greater range of cultural experience and activities.