Teaching the Business of Film
The Film Business Academy is the world's first international centre dedicated to the business of film. Part of Cass Business School, the academy is based just fifteen minutes from Soho, the heart of the British film industry. The Film Business Academy aims to bring the creative energy of the international film industry together with global business expertise, with idea of creating partnerships that will help power the film business into the future.
The Film Business Academy sets out to cover every aspect of the film value chain, from development and finance to distribution and exhibition, helping to develop talent through high-level business education and enrich the industry's knowledge through research. Collaborations between Cass and other international business schools and universities in Europe, America and Asia underpin the quality and academic rigour of the Film Business Academy's worldwide focus.
The new millennium is already presenting significant challenges, with technologies that can make movies on the big screen available on mobile phones. The latest blockbuster can be put in front of an audience through an internet connection. With a passion for innovation and a true global vision, The Film Business Academy is committed to working with the industry to create a successful and sustainable future.
The Academy's aim is to become the centre for knowledge exchange for the international film business, producing new creative business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, prepared to compete in a rapidly changing global market.
The two qualifications the Academy offers are the first of their kind anywhere in the world, and applications have been high.
The one-year full-time MSc is intended to appeal to recent graduates wanting to break into film, new media and distribution. The MBA is the post-experience heavyweight for those with three or more years' management experience in the film industry who want to move up to senior roles in multinational companies. The MBA is a two-year executive programme taught at weekends and short residential courses, enabling working professionals to combine study with career. Cass expects each postgraduate course to run with 20 to 24 students.
It will also offer short courses - something that will appeal to the many small production companies that comprise the London film industry wanting to improve their expertise in areas like distribution, or marketing.
"The Film Industry is to be applauded for this ground breaking initiative. Congratulations to Skillset, the UK Film Council and the industry on a truly visionary achievement," said Phil Hope, UK Minister for Skills.
Skillset has invested more than £1m over two years to cover the start-up costs of the MSc and its MBA. A large slice of that money will provide scholarships for the most able students, to cover half the tuition fees and, in exceptional circumstances, the entire £16,500 cost of an MSc or the £24,000 of an MBA. Up to half of the first year student intake could have some form of scholarship.
"The Film Business Academy will provide much needed support and development for the distribution and exhibition sectors whose importance - in tems of skills and training - are too often overlooked. Both are fundamental to the durability of UK film at home and abroad." Steve Knibbs, Cheif Operational Officer, Vue Entertainment.
The academy's director, business strategy guru Joseph Lampel, says: "Our ambition is to make the Cass MBA global in every respect. We are offering a field trip to Los Angeles and New York as part of our programme, and part of the course will be taught at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California to give us the Hollywood experience. The world centres of film are Hollywood, London, Mumbai and Shanghai, and we expect to attract students from all of these centres. With an international student mix, it doesn't take much for deals to start happening."