Scott Meek to chair advisory board.

The London Film School is launching a new MA programme in Independent Film Business, in partnership with University of Exeter. This follows a the schools’ five-year partnership agreement and the launch of a joint doctoral programme.

The MA will combine practical lessons and academic work. The one-year programme will start in September and will be taught at both locations. The course will also include mentoring from professionals as well as a trip to a major European film festival.

Producer Scott Meek (pictured) will chair the advisory board for the course.

“Drawing on this exceptional range of specialist expertise and resources, the MA in Independent Film Business equips students with the tools, skills and knowledge to become a versatile, innovative and, above all, successful 21st century film professional. These days it’s no longer relevant to train in production alone. You need to be – or at any rate to understand being – a distributor and a sales agent as well. Otherwise, you’re not an independent producer: you’re a dependent one,” said Ben Gibson, Director of the LFS.

The London Film School’s annual graduation ceremony today honoured director Ken Loach and producer Rebecca O’Brien as Honorary Associates of the School. The awards were presented by LFS director Ben Gibson and LFS chairman Mike Leigh.

There are 96 graduates today in MA Filmmaking, MA Screenwriting and MA Film Curating. 

Mike Leigh commented: “Ken and Rebecca’s work is especially important for a school which values cinema that addresses the real world.   They have made immense contributions to UK and international filmmaking. We welcome them to the worldwide community of LFS Associates.”

Rebecca O’Brien said: “We’re really honoured to be recognised by the School - especially as they’ve chosen to put Ken and I on the billing together.  Making films is always teamwork and this associateship is a major endorsement of that.  Thank you, LFS.”  

Ken Loach said: “It’s very pleasant to be asked to join a college without having to sit an exam. I look forward to meeting the students — maybe I can borrow an idea or two. Good luck to the school”. 

LFS is also celebrating a year of graduate successes. In the past year, LFS films have played at over 100 festivals, including Palm Springs, Clermont-Ferrand, London Film Festival, San Sebastian and Encounters, winning 25 major prizes and a BAFTA nomination for Arash Ashtiani’s Only Sound Remains. LFS graduates were selected for numerous new talent initiatives, including the Cannes Residence, Film London Microwave Scheme and Film 4.0. Henry Darke was selected as a Screen Star of Tomorrow. Graduates  were involved in key roles in a wide range of theatrical releases  and TV programmes, including directors Jules Bishop (Borrowed Time), Marius Holst (King of Devils Island), Tongpong Chantarangkul (I Carried You Home) , Oliver Hermanus (Beauty),  Ann Hui (A Simple Life), Jannicke Systad Jacobsen (Turn Me On, Goddammit, winner best Screenplay at Tribeca), Ryan Andrews (Elfie Hopkins);  cinematographers Ivan Strasburgh (Treme), Erik Wilson (Now is Good), Geoffrey Simpson (The Sessions), Philipp Blaubach (Grand Street); editors Nic Gaster (Hyde Park on Hudson), Robert Leighton (Now You See Me), Mark Goldblatt (Percy Jackson); Producers Iain Smith  (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Olivier Kaempfer (Borrowed Time).
The School also announced that it would launch a number of development initiatives in 2013. During the year LFS will: recruit new members into its fundraising and events body The London Film Society; begin an international campaign amongst alumni and supporters aimed at raising funds for student scholarships; establish an ‘annual fund’ to support course enhancements and new technology; and launch its major capital campaign for the re-housing of the school.