Budding Attenboroughs get chance to develop their talent in Bristol

April 12, 2012

From Bristol 24-7 www.bristol247.com

Bristol’s standing as a filmmaking hub has been further strengthened by the launch of a postgraduate degree to help budding wildlife film makers follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough and the BBC’s city-based Natural History Unit.

The MA in wildlife film-making has been devised by the University of the West of England (UWE) and the award-winning BBC department – responsible for series such as the recent Frozen Planet.

The one-year course, which will be based at the university’s new multi-million pound broadcast studios on the Frenchay Campus, is designed for students who can show a passion for wildlife photography and film.

Alex Gilkison, UWE Bristol’s pro-vice chancellor in the Faculty for Arts, Creative Industries and Education, said: “This groundbreaking MA, which is recruiting now for September, will inspire graduates who can demonstrate a real passion for wildlife and who have a strong desire to tell stories about the natural world.”

Potential students will need to show a portfolio of work produced in the past three years that might include photographs, screen-based work, development work, sketchbooks or research material showing personal areas of interest.

The course, which is bound to attract interest from hundreds of budding filmmakers, has been designed and developed with some of the NHU’s best known and most successful producers.

These­ include James Honeyborne, who directed the Meerkat feature film and looks after ‘Ends of the Earth’ and ‘Africa’; Steve Greenwood, series editor of ‘The Natural World’ and producer of BBC 1′s ‘Lost Lands’; head of NHU radio, Julian Hector; and producer Kathryn Jeffs, whose credits include ‘Frozen Planet’ and ‘Planet Earth’.

It is anticipated that more than half of all the teaching will be delivered by current and former NHU production personnel – the very best in the business and arguably the world.

It will also draw on the talent of Bristol’s successful independent production companies who work with the major international broadcasters including Discovery and Animal Planet. There is support from the city’s international natural world festival – Wildscreen.

Wendy Darke, head of the NHU, said: “The NHU’s continued success as a world leader in natural history content production is entirely dependent on our access to talent, both within the NHU; the freelance community in the Southwest and our partner organisations. The MA in Wildlife Filmmaking from UWE Bristol has been designed from the ground up to ensure that the very best talent is available to the industry which I’m delighted to support.”


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