Trainspotting and Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle will play a leading role in a new innovative media school at Manchester Metropolitan.
The International Screen School Manchester, led by Manchester Metropolitan University, is a project that will develop interdisciplinary talent to support Greater Manchester’s creative and digital industries, which are among the fastest growth sectors in Europe. The new Screen School will work closely with key regional cultural and industry partners including HOME, RED Productions, BBC and ITV to ensure Greater Manchester has the skills base urgently needed to support this continued growth.
The International Screen School Manchester (ISSM) will provide courses in film, animation, applied games, special effects, sound design, software design for screen, user experience design and immersive media content production for more than 1,000 students every year. It is estimated that the ISSM will generate an annual £13 million boost for the local economy.
Senior figures from film, media and commerce have already agreed to be part of the Screen School’s Industry Advisory Board. The group will be co-chaired by Danny Boyle, director of films such as the Trainspotting series, Slumdog Millionaire and the creative force behind the opening ceremony at the London Olympics, and producer Nicola Shindler, founder of award-winning RED Productions.
Danny Boyle said: “This is just what Manchester needs and I am delighted to be part of the International Screen School Manchester.
“Manchester is a prolific centre of media production already and the Screen School will create the talent needed in the north to create even more success.
“I’m really keen to see young people from all backgrounds given the opportunity to learn to be the filmmakers and media producers of the future, and to have the opportunity to tell their own stories – but in ways that we’ve never experienced before.”
Producer Nicola Shindler added: “I’m really excited to be involved with Manchester Metropolitan’s Screen School project. I think the creative industries can really benefit from more training and the idea that learning takes place alongside real working experience.”
Greater Manchester leaders will be asked to give the green light to Government funding for the International Screen School at February’s Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) meeting. This funding will then be matched by an additional investment from the University.
If agreed, work will begin to develop this innovative project on a site on Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, within the Manchester Metropolitan University campus.
Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver a project of real ambition and scale. We know how critical digital skills development will be to the future success of our economy. The Screen School will be part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s world-leading School of Art, ensuring that we form a strong bridge between creative media and digital production methods, informing critical thinking on how new media technologies can be expanded for other uses. We are excited about this opportunity to jointly invest in the future success of our city region.”
GMCA Lead Member for Economic strategy Sir Richard Leese said: “With more than 55,000 jobs generating around £3 billion a year, the creative and digital industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the Greater Manchester economy. Manchester is Europe’s second largest creative, digital and media hub and the sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the UK.
“Greater Manchester is determined to build on this success by working with industry and academic partners. The International Screen School Manchester will be a creative and digital skills powerhouse, supporting the creative and digital industries to secure the skills needed to drive innovation, growth and transformation.”
Professor Mary Oliver, Head of Media at the University, added: “This innovative learning resource will bring creative and computational learning together. It’s essential to do this in order that we prepare our content producers for the changes in the way that people consume media now and in the future. In collaboration with our industry partners, we will be designing new programmes, new kinds of learning spaces and learning methods. In this rapidly changing media dominated world we need to change the ways in which we create content to respond to the ever changing technological landscape.”