Film school to offer training for cultural impresarios

The National Film and Television School has launched a course aimed at training impresarios to work across the creative industries.

NFTS, based in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, is known as one of the UK’s leading schools for film, TV and games training. However, the new entrepreneurial producing course will cover seven sectors: film, TV, theatre, music, publishing, games and new media/online entertainment.

The ten-month course, which will start in January 2013, is being led by NFTS head of producing Chris Auty (an executive producer on the film Crash) and NFTS director Nik Powell (founder of Palace Pictures and a producer on the Crying Game and Ladies in Lavender).

Auty explained: “In an industry like the theatre, the role of the entrepreneur and the investor is key. We are already seeing fascinating cross-media developments within the sector – like the unique Digital Theatre initiative – and we hope that this course can help contribute to the next wave of innovators, producers and investors in this and each of the other creative industries.”

As part of the course, students will be required to develop a business proposal to be pitched to a panel of tutors and investors. Auty claims the course will meet a demand not fulfilled by other traditional MBA-style business courses.

He said: “There are many very good technical business courses aimed at training students in how to become an intellectual property lawyer or accountant. But this course will teach students how to become an impresario in the creative industries, which includes how to work in a creative environment and manage creative talent such as actors, musicians, writers and gaming creators.”

The course is being supported by Ingenious Media and its chief executive Patrick McKenna.

McKenna said: “I am delighted to support this new course. Building business capacity in the UK’s cultural and creative industries is vital to our future competitiveness. We need entrepreneurs, financiers and managers who truly understand the creative process as well as business and commerce. My hope is that this course will make a significant contribution to achieving these goals.”

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster