To improve the diversity of film industry, Working Title is to open a new free school to teach film production in London alongside national curriculum.
Working Title, the British film production company behind the 2003 Christmas-themed movie Love Actually, will open a new free film school in North London in a bid to improve diversity of film industry alongside national curriculum.
The school was granted planning permission conditionally last week. According to Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, the co-chairs of Working Title, it will be converted from the former office block in Highbury of Working Title, which is available to 1000 students.
“We go to film production studios and they are not diverse. That is not right. We realised we had to go back and start at the education level.” Said Bevan.
The school is one of the 131 free schools to be approved by the government earlier this year. It is a joint venture between Working Title and the Meller Educational Trust, which already runs academies, and scheduled to open in 2019 at the earliest. Its courses will range from scriptwriting to hair and makeup, as well as lighting and post-production.
The school targets at teenagers from 16 to 19 years old with different backgrounds. Fellner explained that they want to ensure containing an absolutely diverse set of students with diverse backgrounds into the industry. “We don’t have a quick fix, but we want to help them realise the opportunities in the hope their voices will multiply.” Fellner added.
Ofcom, the media regulator has criticised that women, minority ethnic groups and disabled people are all under-represented by broadcasters, to warn the Britain’s creative industries are under growing pressure about a lack of diversity.
The project has attracted some local opposition in north London. When around 100 parents and teachers were asked about their opinion on this plan, no one raised their hand to support, according to the Islington Tribune newspaper. The school was criticised as a “fool’s errand” and its educational value was said “highly questionable”.