Outgoing director of the London Film School to join Australian Film School.
Ben Gibson, the departing director of the London Film School, has been appointed to a new senior role at AFTRS, the Australian Film Television & Radio School, as director, degree programs. He will start work in Sydney in September.
Gibson will play a key leadership role in ensuring the successful delivery and development of a new three-year AFTRS Bachelor of Arts (Screen) degree and AFTRS Screen and Screen Business Masters degrees, which are being restructured and relaunched for 2015.
Prior to joining the LFS in 2001, Gibson worked as a film distributor and independent producer, and as head of production at the British Film Institute (BFI) from 1988 to 1998.
His production and executive production credits include Terence Davies’ The Long Day Closes, Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein, John Maybury’s Love is the Devil, Carine Adler’s Under the Skin and Jasmin Dizdar’s Beautiful People, as well as 20 other low budget features and many shorts by UK directors including Patrick Keiller, Gurinder Chadha, Lynne Ramsay, Richard Kwietniowski and Andrew Kotting.
As a partner in distributors The Other Cinema/Metro Pictures he acquired and promoted films by Pedro Almodovar, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman and Jean-Luc Godard as well as opening the West End’s Metro Cinema in 1986. He has also been a theatre director, a repertory film programmer and a film critic and journalist. He leaves LFS at the end of July.
Gibson said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to Sandra Levy’s vision of AFTRS as a complete screen school — and to get the chance work in the Australian film industry, one I’ve hugely admired and followed — so far from a great distance.
“AFTRS offers a special combination of good things: self-confidence, an extraordinary heritage, great creative ambition, exceptional resources, a wide educational scope and a central mission in a dynamic and productive screen industry. It’s rightly considered to be one of the great film schools of the world. I can’t wait to join the team and get started there.”
In his final year, the LFS won 35 festival prizes and mentions, including a BAFTA nomination. This year’s Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival was won by Leidi, the LFS graduation film of Simón Mesa Soto. Also at Cannes, amongst seven graduates featured in the 2014 selection, The Salt Of The Earth, co-directed by LFS graduate Juliano Ribeiro Salgado with Wim Wenders, was awarded the Un Certain Regard’s Special Jury Prize.