Guest blogger Mark Reid, head of BFI Education


After 20+ years we’ve changed the focus, format, and name of the Media Studies Conference. A small change – to the BFI Media Conference: Creativity, Industry, Learning – but one which we hope signals a broader address to media teaching and education, beyond a narrow address to A level specifications.
This year we ‘stranded’ the conference as New Media, TV, and Film, each on a different day. Alongside plenaries and keynote speakers, we divided our days into ‘Create’, ‘Reach’, and ‘Learn’, to mirror the processes that media go through from conception to classroom.
Our New Media day was co-produced with Lambeth City Learning Centre, and brought a new set of speakers and ideas to an audience of media teachers: Ian Livingstone, President of Eidos Games, and co-author of the influential NextGen Report; Alan O’Donohoe, the teacher behind Raspberry Jam and Hack to the Future; Emma Mulqueeny, the brains and energy behind Young Rewired State – and many others.
Day two, on TV, opened with Pat Younge, Creative Director of BBC Vision, and carried on with writer Ronan Bennett, documentary maker Jez Lewis, Music Video maker Emil Nava and his agent Chris Abitbol, and a raft of teachers and researchers making more sense of the industry for the classroom.
Friday was film day: a debate on two film cultures with Briony Hanson of the British Council and Simon Ward from the Independent Cinema, Office, then distributor Soda Films, the BBFC, the Script Factory, and Empire journalist Ian Freer. We finished with a clarion call from Patrick Phillips, Chief Examiner of A level Film Studies, to revivify and re-boot film study.

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