The British Film Institute has been granted £3million from the Department of Education across the next three years with the intention of setting up a film academy for young people.
The drive to uncover this generation's emerging filmmaking talents was announced just before the launch of the Henley Report on Tuesday 28 February, which focuses on cultural education as a whole in England - theatre, art, dance, music, as well as film.
The BFI has confirmed that the project is targeted at 16-19 year olds and will work with schools, colleges and other educational organisations to "identify and develop aspiring young filmmakers and those wanting to enter the industry who have exceptional levels of creative talent, technical skills, commitment and the tenacity to become successful film professionals".
The program won't just be about the actual shooting of new scripts; it will also examine and develop other essential needs in the industry such as technical, curatorial, business and marketing skills.
Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO, 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."
Meanwhile, British film director Tom Hooper (an Oscar winner for 'The King's Speech') added: "The inspiration to become a filmmaker and the opportunity to achieve it do not always go hand in hand, so it is great the BFI is giving young people an extra helping hand and budding film professionals the chance to develop their skills and talent.
"It is vital for the future of the British film industry that we nurture the next generations of creative, successful and internationally in-demand filmmakers."
This is great news for UK arts on screen, especially after the UK Film Council was abolished after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) tightened its purse strings. The UK Film Council was founded in 2000, had a £15m yearly budget to invest in British films and employed 75 people. The move was announced in July 2010 and by March 2011, the UKFC officially closed. The silver lining is that a lot of the responsibilities were passed over to the BFI.
You can keep track on the BFI's great developments in British Film at their site here: http://www.bfi.org.uk/
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