The University of Sunderland has joined the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) albert education partnership to teach students the importance of creating sustainable content – a move which has been welcomed by wildlife legend and British TV icon, Sir David Attenborough.

The initiative aims to tackle the environmental impact of the screen industries by equipping lecturers at UK universities with learning materials, industry case studies, customised tools, and support in order to integrate an ‘Applied Skills for a Sustainable Screen Industry’ module into pre-existing courses.

Now, students on Sunderland’s MA Media Production (Film and Television) programme will be the first to benefit from this specialist content as part of the Production Management module. It will teach them topics such as the science of climate change, the global impact of a changing climate, the environmental impact of the film and TV industries, sustainable production practices and creating content with a strategic environmental purpose.

The module will also provide access to the albert calculator – a bespoke carbon calculator designed for the film and TV industries that helps a production to measure its carbon footprint and take steps towards reducing it.

Students will benefit from invaluable access and experience with the industry’s approach to sustainability, skills demanded from new industry entrants, ongoing updates on key sustainability trends in the industry, as well as training and support. They will also receive an industry-recognised ‘albert grad’ certification upon completion.

Speaking about the new partnership, English broadcaster, biologist, natural historian and author, Sir David Attenborough, said: “Saving our planet is now a communications challenge.

“Having partners like the University of Sunderland getting the best possible information to the future industry leaders is an essential part of the solution.”

The MA students are not the only ones to benefit, as the module will also be delivered as part of the University’s undergraduate Film Production programme and then rolled out to other relevant programmes in production.

Gary Stubbs, BAFTA albert partnership manager and Programme Leader for MA Media Production (Film and Television) at the University of Sunderland, said: “The University’s Film and Television department is set to take green issues to task by joining the BAFTA albert education partnership, bolstering the number of education organisations working together for a greener screen industry.

“This partnership is aimed at educational institutions training the next generation of producers, directors, production managers and craft specialists to support them in teaching the importance of creating sustainable content both on and off screen.

“As a partner, the University will now aim to certify the environmental credentials of each of their students’ productions and work to integrate albert’s other projects, such as the creative energy project, into their processes.”

“Anyone currently working in the film and television industry knows how important sustainability in production is. Industry productions that successfully complete the albert certification will be awarded a 1, 2 or 3 star certificate and be given use of the albert Sustainable Production logo on their end board (credits). So, we’ve got a huge opportunity to make a positive difference to our students’ training; giving them the knowledge and the skills needed to join the workforce and contribute to creating sustainable content both behind the scenes and on screen.”

Carys Taylor, albert Director, added:

“The screen industries have a huge societal influence worldwide. When institutions like the University of Sunderland train the best and the brightest to think sustainably it can have ripple effect with global benefits. We’re very pleased to have them as a partner.”

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