Budding animators sought for new project

Promising filmmakers hoping to follow in the footsteps of animator Nick Park are being given the opportunity to learn new skills through an innovative project in Wolverhampton and Shropshire.

Budding animators sought for new projectThe University of Wolverhampton has joined forces with specialist arts college Thomas Adams School and Wem Town Hall in Shropshire to launch BFI Film Academy West Midlands.

The organisations successfully applied to be a regional partner for the national British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy Network, which aims to develop the next generation of film industry talent. The BFI has launched the new national film academy in partnership with BAFTA, Pinewood Studios and the Department for Education.

The project is looking for 35 of the region’s most promising young creatives to take part in an eight-week specialist programme with a focus on animation. There will be two groups of 16-19 year olds – one in Wem, Shropshire, and one in Wolverhampton – and all participants will have access to the University’s and Wem Town Hall’s specialist resources.

The Academy will cover everything from film history and theory, how to develop ideas and scripts, sound design and music, pitching and presenting, to practical animation techniques, editing and special effects.

Participants will have opportunity to work with support from University lecturers and media arts staff at Thomas Adams School, with recent animation graduates and with award winning film and animation professionals.

From this month, specialist media organisations all over England will run the new regional film academies for 16-19 year olds, supporting hundreds of talented, passionate young filmmakers in developing their skills and exploring career pathways into the world of film and animation.

Ross Winning, Leader in Digital Media from the University’s School of Art & Design, said: “We’re delighted to be offering this great opportunity for young people to develop new skills that could set them on the path to an exciting career in the film industry.

“The University has excellent specialist facilities and a long history of success in this area.  Our experienced and award-winning animation staff are looking forward to working with the next generation of animation stars.”

Sue Gainsborough, Director of Media Arts at Thomas Adams School, says: “We are delighted, once again, to be collaborating with the University’s Animation department on this exciting initiative. The project builds on previous partnership working and the combined expertise in animation and youth media production makes for a very exciting opportunity for the region’s future filmmakers.”

The Academy is designed to accommodate complete beginners and those with experience.

Weekly evening sessions will take place from late January to March 2013, with a number of daytime sessions on Saturdays and during school holidays in February.  BFI Film Academy WM is free to attend, and help with travel costs is available if needed.

To apply for this opportunity participants should be:

  • genuinely interested in filmmaking and animation
  • aged 16-19 years old
  • able to attend regular evening sessions in Wem or Wolverhampton, as well as several daytime sessions on Saturdays and during school holidays in February.

To register interest or to request further information contact BFI Film Academy WM direct at bfi.film.academywm@wemtownhall.co.uk or call 07970 045035 and leave your name, age, contact phone number and email address.

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