Brighton Film School is delighted to announce the appointment of our new college principal, Itziar Leighton

Itziar joins BFS from Aldridge Education where she has spent the last four years as Regional Director leading on curriculum development, establishing specialist academies and developing industry links and partnerships.

Itziar is a highly experienced senior leader with over 20 years’ experience in education. She is dedicated to providing young people with the opportunities and skills to follow their passion in developing and building a successful career. Itziar said: “I am so happy to be joining such a dynamic family of professionals. I have been so struck by the passion for both their subject and their determination that students both enjoy themselves and personally develop through an outstanding educational experience, which will help launch them into their chosen career.”

BFS has many alumni working in a range of disciplines. Recent graduates include Dave McLaren, a freelance cinematographer who has worked as a camera operator and lighting assistant on Netflix pilot tv series, music videos with BRIT award winners, charity promotional work and has recently spent six weeks on a feature film in the UK as a spark with Warner Brothers and on another feature film with the BBC, which was shot on location in Brighton.

Further graduate success includes Laura Rickard. From over 250 applications, Laura made the final 8 on the Creative Skillset Trainee Scheme and is a Trainee Assistant Director on high budget blockbuster feature films mainly at Pinewood Studios.

Itziar joins the film school at an exciting time, as BFS launch their brand new three-year undergraduate degree in Film Production to meet the needs and demands of a thriving British film industry. This degree will provide students with the opportunity to acquire the fundamental knowledge, techniques and tools they need to navigate the film industry and to build a sustainable career in film and the related creative industries.

As part of Brighton Film School’s new partnership with BIMM (The British & Irish Modern Music Institute), Itziar will continue to create exciting opportunities for the film school’s students through this creative collaboration, she said: “Becoming part of this creative movement that is BIMM, BRICTT and BFS for the city, and as Principal of Brighton Film School, working alongside such dedicated, passionate professionals that have so warmly welcomed me, it’s clear that the future is exciting with great potential for all.”

Itziar officially started on Monday 24th September 2018, taking over from Gary Barber, who leaves the film school with several exciting projects lined up including writing a book about cinematographer Brian Tufano, developing a stage play and feature script alongside Martin Askew and having his short film ‘An Opportunist’ screened as part of Cinecity.

During his six years as co-founder of Brighton Film School and Creative Director, he has supported hundreds of BFS students to produce a wide range of narrative films, documentaries and music promos. He has also developed a reputation for excellence through an educational experience which is individualised, bespoke, supportive and enhanced with outstanding industry links.

As Itziar begins, she would like to acknowledge the legacy created by Gary, she said: “Gary has supported many students to achieve success and has, along with his team, developed the next generation of film makers to reach their full potential. Our sincere thanks go to Gary for enriching this city with such a wonderful organisation dedicated to the enhancement of the creative arts. We wish Gary every success and know that he will continue to engage with us and participate and share in future events and show cases.”

Come and meet the team and see BFS in action at one of our Open Days.