The Mohn Westlake Foundation is supporting the London Screen Academy, a brand-new, free, sixth-form academy that opened in September 2019. It has been founded by some of the UK's most successful film producers for students aged 16 to 19 years old, to provide an insight into all screen disciplines and the vast array of related jobs, the opportunity to develop specific skills and an appreciation of the art of storytelling.
The Foundation's grant will support four initiatives.
Giving students a chance to work on genuine briefs in genuine contexts, a Learning Design Team while combine with the LSA's industry partners and teachers to create a set of expertly built, real-world projects. These projects will yield 'high-stakes' moments for students, and will be deeply formative in their development of industry knowledge, skill and habit.
The LSA is unique in their access to, and partnership with, the industry. That partnership will ensure that what students learn is relevant and practical, exposing them to the industry through masterclasses, workshops, industry weeks, work placements and internships. The LSA will also provide students with career guidance and help in taking the next step.
Cultural capital is recognised as playing a vital part in closing the attainment gap between students of different backgrounds. The Foundation's funding will be used to create a cultural capital programme that will broaden the students' horizons, expose them to new experiences and build on their cultural knowledge.
A central part of the curriculum at LSA involves creating authentic experiences for their students. As part of their end of year projects, students will have the opportunity to pitch to a committee (comprised of LSA staff and industry professionals) for financing of their film projects. This financing will be to cover costs such as transport to and from locations, basic food for shoots and any additional kit or props they may need. This kind of finance is essential in breaking down barriers to their overall success.
The LSA's aim is to benefit 312 students in year 1, 700 in year 2, and 1000 in year 3.
“We are delighted to have LSA in Islington. This unique, employer-led college is on a mission to diversify the film industry. We wholeheartedly support LSA’s approach to engage young people from underrepresented groups, inspiring and equipping them to take their first steps towards a successful career.” Andrea Stark, Director of Employment, Skills and Culture
For more information about this project and more, please visit the LSA's website: www.lsa.ac.uk
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