Posted on 12th April 2023

How Leeds Arts University is engaging students with sustainability

Tom Chimiak, Senior Lecturer on Leeds Arts University's Filmmaking course, spoke to us about why integrating albert training into the course matters

Why did you choose to integrate albert training into the course?

The reason why the albert Education Partnership was a great fit for Leeds Arts University is because sustainability is a high priority for us both as a university and within the film industry as a whole. 

The albert scheme is vital for current students to help change the viewpoint of the next generation personnel and content in the industry.

Completing the BAFTA albert Training Course through Leeds Arts University provided a fascinating insight into the different techniques employed by an evolving industry to try and improve its contribution to the global challenge of climate change. Every industry must step up and adjust to a more sustainable means of production for the future of our planet and BAFTA albert is the voice of this change for the TV and Film Industry. The training was simple, clear, succinct and accessible for people at all levels and stages and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the required stages of learning. As a soon-to-be graduate Filmmaker I feel more confident entering the industry as someone who has completed the BAFTA albert scheme. Having the knowledge provided allows me to understand the mechanisms in place to make all stages of production more sustainable and efficient which makes me a more valuable asset to future employers

— Beth Connolly, a current L6 student - soon to be graduate

How did you integrate albert training into the course?

We’ve embedded the albert scheme into the final year of our Filmmaking course, where students create films that are between 10 – 20 minutes long on any topic. 

We’ve had projects that have had sustainable sets, props, storylines or even sustainable ways of showing their films – the scheme has really made the students think about the whole process. Recently the Comic and Concept Arts degree has been altered to include albert content in their course structure.

We’ve also sent around a Green Manifesto to everyone on the course.

I really enjoyed the albert course as my film is based on sustainability, so it’s something I’m quite passionate about. I enjoyed the process of making my shoots as green as possible because I wanted the production process to reflect the values that are held in my films, and I think it worked very well. My favourite part was finding ​second-hand props; it made me more creative with the set ups because I had to search for things I wanted, and often found something better than I expected; for example, Judy’s vintage chair - So much cooler than I could’ve found new. I think that practicing sustainability in my practices is a really useful thing to do because I now know that it’s completely possible to create some really nice footage and sets by using what we already have, rather than feeling that we have to buy new things every time we’re developing an idea! I think that it’ll be useful in the industry as people are starting to open their eyes to the issues going on, and the industry will follow suit, and especially because the industry has such a massive footprint, it’ll be useful to enter the workforce trying to reduce it from the get-go.

— Andrea Shearer, a current L6 student - soon to be graduate

The students have all expressed they feel more prepared to enter the workforce thinking differently about creating, having sustainability in mind throughout all parts of production, and how this will help them bring new ideas to the industry. The BAFTA albert scheme gives the ​responsibility back to the students and makes them feel like they can become the change the industry needs.

Find out more about Leeds Arts University’s sustainability goals here.

Find out more about Tom Chimiak here.