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Record number of Xaverian Students selected to be part of the BFI Film Academy

An amazing nine Xaverian Film Studies students have secured places on the highly-prestigious BFI (British Film Institute) Film Academy which accepts only 18 young people from the Manchester region on the programme every year. For the BFI to select nine students from Xaverian is an amazing achievement and one that has never previously been achieved at the College.

The Academy programme is run from ‘Home’ – Manchester’s multi-million pound Arts Centre, the patron of which is Danny Boyle, Director of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire.

The successful students were James Samuel, Aisha Asghar, Ruby Alcock (pictured left to right) joined by Salma Arfan, Ayla Wasim, Sam Clode-Round, Noman Yousafi, Ruby Moogan and Lucas Duffy.

The Film Studies A Level at Xaverian is run by industry professionals who teach students the mix of skills they need to write, shoot, direct and edit a professional film. More recently, students have been working on short films that will be screened at the cinema for members of the public to watch. Gaining high-level skills and the passion students have for the industry opens-up opportunities such as this that are highly sought-after and can be an excellent route into exciting careers.

Previous Xaverian Film students have gained places on the Academy every year it has been in existence, including Tehreem Faisal and Izzy Glenton. Tehreem is now working at Pinewood Studios on Indiana Jones 5 and the new Star Wars series for Disney Plus. Izzy was an Editorial Assistant on Venom 2 and Black Widow and now works at ‘Home’ herself.

Year 12 student at Xaverian, Ruby Alcock from Stockport, was one of the nine students selected for the academy and is currently studying A Levels in Graphic Communication, Combined English Language and Literature and Film Studies. On gaining the place, she said: “Being selected to be part of the academy made me feel like my interests were valued and I also realised film was an industry I could actually go into, rather than just something I’d like to go into if I had the chance.

“As part of the Academy, we will work alongside professionals to produce a film that will be screened at the cinema. It is based around the theme of ‘time travel’ and how far we would go for family, as well as struggling with grief and the extreme measures you might consider to have someone back in your life, without any guarantees. The academy will be great for my career because I will gain experience I wouldn’t otherwise have had. After Xaverian, I plan to study filmmaking at the School of Digital Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University or take an Apprenticeship at the BBC. My ultimate career ambition is to work as a Cinematographer alongside people I admire and respect in their specialist fields.”

Year 13 student, James Samuel from Trafford, is studying A Levels in Fine Art and English Language and Literature combined alongside the Film Studies A Level, said: “I was really happy to be accepted onto the BFI course and I am sure it will be a great experience. I have really enjoyed studying film at the College as I’ve never done it before and I’m very passionate about it. Being able to produce our own films through the College and at the BFI has really inspired me to continue studying film with fine art at university and, eventually, I hope to write and direct films as a career.”

Aisha Asghar, from Fallowfield and studying A Levels in Film Studies, English Language and Media Studies, said: “Being accepted onto the Academy made me feel really proud and happy. I have worked hard to improve my skills by taking part in competitions and clubs and undertaking further research during my independent study sessions. We’ve also had great support from the tutors, who helped us apply for places on the academy, and really encourage us to make amazing films. I’m hoping to study filmmaking at university and become an independent filmmaker, or I would also like to become an editor or screenwriter for major film producers such as Netflix, Disney or Warner Bros.”

Curriculum Leader for Film Studies, Phil Drinkwater, commented on the students’ success: “I’m delighted that so many Xaverian students have been successful in gaining places at the Academy. They are all dedicated to their Film Studies A Level and their enthusiasm shines through in every lesson. They have already shown they have the drive and knowledge to pursue careers in the film industry and I hope their place on the BFI Film Academy brings them a step closer to their dream careers in the film industry”

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

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