Raindance Goes Academic

by Sydney Levine
July 19, 2011 2:30 AM
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This is a first as far as I know. Raindance Film Festival, a true indie event which also launched the now famous BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) equivalent in London to the Spirit Awards in the U.S., has now launched a Masters Degree that includes a broad range of opportunities including training courses, networking with industry and self-directed study. The learning activities, pathways and even the final degree title on the certificate are negotiated individually with the student, depending on evolving career and project aims. A unique collaboration between Raindance as the U.K.’s most popular film training organization and innovative academics at Staffordshire University, this part-time postgraduate degree program takes advantage of recent developments in academic and professional education. We have always supported Elliot Grove since he established the festival in 1992 and we continue to lend our support to him. Congratulations!!

And it all starts on September 28th - oddly - the Opening Night of the Raindance Film Festival.

The 12 day introduction, during Raindance, will be followed by a year's part-time study during which you can pick and chose from the existing Raindance short courses - a mouth-watering range with tutors as diverse as working British professionals alongside L.A. people like Christopher Vogler and Syd Field.

Since 1992 Raindance has developed and delivered industry-relevant filmmaking courses comprised of practical and theoretical training. The new Masters degree will build on elements of existing Raindance Continuous Professional Development training blended with exclusive meetings with veteran industry practitioners as well as additional academic framing tuition about practical and conceptual research techniques with a strong emphasis on self-directed and reflective learning. This means the schedule and the individual module content are not determined by the school as in conventional degrees, but freely negotiated in the beginning. Depending on the student’s needs and interests, the investigations could lead to an M.A. in Directing Independent Films, Digital Cinematography, or very specialised concerns like Producing Films with Crowd Funding or Writing Fantasy Screenplays, that traditional institutions would not be able to offer. The independent study as well as assessment of theoretical and practical course work leads to the postgraduate degree certificate that is academically validated and awarded by the University.

Raindance founder Elliot Grove said: “I am delighted to be working with one of Britain’s premier universities to deliver a programme that will respond to the changing filmmaking climate, and a programme that will respond to the constantly changing influences of digital filmmaking and distribution techniques.”

The Raindance educational strategy has been prepared by veteran producer Carl Schoenfeld. Carl adds:

“This is the first response to the Government’s white paper on higher education where industry meets academia to deliver highly relevant courses. The winners are the students, who are empowered through skills that enable them to take responsibility for their own learning throughout the course and beyond.”

James Fair of Staffordshire University says “We have always pursued a combination of relevance and excellence at Staffordshire. We feel that the partnership with Raindance demonstrates our ability to provide flexible learning opportunities that correspond to the demands of the workplace. This will be where theory and practice meet, mirroring the complex realities of filmmaking”.

Applications for the limited places will open on July 15th, with successful applicants starting the program on September 28th.

For details of the course, allocation process and fees, please contact Frederica Byron frederica AT raindance.co.uk or call Raindance at 0207 287 3833

Notes to editors:

About Raindance

• Raindance has pioneered and championed independent filmmaking throughout the UK since 1992. Always learning from its own students’ work, it has built a diverse constituency of both emerging and established film, TV and media professionals.

• Through its training courses, it makes entrepreneurial and independent filmmaking accessible to an expanding range of communities that might not otherwise feel entitled to make their voices heard on film & TV. Over 5,000 students attend every year to receive guidance and tuition towards ‘learning by doing’ on the writing, planning, making as well as distribution of films and help to enhance the growing Raindance network of emerging filmmakers.

• Raindance founded the Raindance Film Festival in 1993 and the British Independent Film Awards in 1998

• For details, please contact Frederica Byron frederica@raindance.co.uk or call Raindance at 0207 287 3833


About Stafford University

• Established in 1992, Staffordshire University has evolved into one of the country's most dynamic, progressive and forward-thinking learning institutions. Always quick to adapt as student requirements change, we have become renowned for our groundbreaking new courses and first-class learning opportunities
• The University was the first institution to introduce a single honours degree in Film, Television and Radio Studies in 1990. A new Media Centre was opened by Greg Dyke in 2005, comprising radio studios, television news desk and broadcast journalist suite, and a television studio was opened the following year by Her Majesty the Queen.
• The University offers qualifications in all areas of film production at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, as BA/BSc and MA/MSc. The research conducted by the Centre of Media, Arts & Technologies (C-MAT) has been demonstrated internationally, most recently in the 72 Hour Movie Project in Melbourne International Film Festival 2010.

For details, please contact James Fair at Stafford University: J.E.Fair@staffs.ac.uk or call at +44 (0)1785 353245

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More: Education, International Film Festival

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