Amazon pledges $13m to support UK TV & film training and development

Anansi Boys

Amazon Prime Video has pledged £10m ($13.3m) to support training and development in the UK TV and film industry through its new Prime Video Pathway training initiative.

The company aims to open up access to jobs in the industry with a funding commitment across the next three years. In partnership with the National Film & Television School (NFTS), the new academy programme will offer 75 places per year to people who will be offered the chance to apply for a variety of craft and technical roles on Prime Video commissioned productions in the UK.

Opening soon for applications for prospective candidates from across the UK, the academy programme will offer up roles across physical production including production, art department, locations, camera, sound, and accounting. Upon completion of the programme, Prime Video, the NFTS, and production heads of department will work with the participants to plan and support their next steps into the industry, with the aim that trainees will be put forward to work on other productions.

Integral to the academy is the school’s commitment to investing in training across the UK, with at least 50% of participants coming from outside of London.

Prime Video has also committed to fund and co-programme two courses designed to support the entry of new diverse voices into TV and film production, as it becomes a key partner of the school.

The first is the Prime Video Directors Workshop, which is a 12-month course and designed specifically to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups working in screen directing. The course takes the form of intensive training in narrative filmmaking, with each student creating a short film by the end of the course.

Prime Video also becomes co-sponsor of the NFTS’ Post Production Supervision Certificate, a course designed to give a grounding in the fundamentals key to effective post production management. Prime Video will fund an additional intake of students to start in September 2022, thereby doubling the number of young people able to take the course.

NFTS’ inaugural intake on this course finished in July 2021, with a graduate employment rate of 100%, as participants were fast-tracked into industry roles including on Prime Video commissioned productions Anansi Boys and My Policeman.

“The UK is home to an extraordinary wealth of creative talent, and as our home-grown productions grow, we need to support a sustainable and diverse talent pool with world-class training, and a new creative generation for the industry,” said Dan Grabiner, head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios.

“We are delighted to be committing £10m towards that goal today, and thank the NFTS and colleagues across the TV and film industry for their support in helping us fulfil our ambitious goals. To those considering a career in the creative industries: we want to hear from you!”

The £10m will not only support these schemes, but also a variety of initiatives including a commitment to build a stepping-up scheme into all future Amazon Original UK productions. It also includes Prime Video’s increased commitment to apprenticeships, with more than 30 apprenticeship roles now open including content producers, broadcast assistants and marketing executives as part of Amazon UK’ 2022 expansion of its apprenticeship programme.

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