Blog by Annabelle Pangborn, Director of the Northern Film School
The Northern Film School reflects the increasing importance and significant growth of the Creative Industries in the UK economy, in particular, the screen industries. Film, broadcast and the phenomenon of video on-demand platforms such as Netflix have created a growing and robust market for talented, skilled and aspirational filmmakers. The increasing significance of the ‘North’ in the Creative Industries, in particular, Yorkshire and the Humber, is hard to ignore. Channel 4 has located its National HQ in Leeds enabling it to capitalise on a strong and fast-growing production sector in cities across the North of England. Leeds has been recognised nationally as a thriving digital creative hub and an exciting, cultural city for students and, importantly, graduates.
The Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University is one of the best-known film and television schools in the UK, making innovative and award winning films for over 25 years, and offers a breadth of filmmaking courses at BA (Hons), MA and PhD levels which attract students from around the world. The courses are designed to help students find an audience for the idea or subject they are passionate about, as well as supporting them in turning their vision into a bold and innovative film.
The film school is also set to be at the centre of the newly established Leeds School of Arts housed in our university’s brand-new flagship building in the heart of the city centre. It’s well placed for students who understand the increasing significance of the role of visual storytelling and want to contribute to this growing community.
The Harrogate Film Festival is another exciting opportunity for our students to exhibit their work whilst also networking with peers and established industry professionals working in the region. Our student showcases are diverse. Our eclectic screening work ranges from drama to documentary and experimental film and demonstrates the enormous growth of young talent in the region in a period of exceptional growth within the creative and digital industries.
Rising talent at our film school is only able to prosper within the creative and technical world of storytelling on screen thanks to the dedicated guidance of industry academics who make our graduates the filmmakers of the future.
It is, of course, our graduates who really tell our story. Many alumni have gone on to win major awards, including BAFTAs and Oscars, for their work in television and film. These include Fabian Wagner (Game of Thrones; The White Queen; Mrs Biggs) and John Dower (Wolfblood) and more recently, Ruth Parker (Victoria; War of the Worlds; Get Even) and Harry Lock who was snapped up by the prestigious documentary company True Vision immediately on graduating, going on to win the coveted RTS Industry Award for Best Newcomer “One to Watch” less than 12 months later.