You are here: Home › London Film Academy celebrates 20 years of innovative film education

London Film Academy celebrates 20 years of innovative film education

   Mar 15, 2021
Credit : GMI Post

The London Film Academy (LFA) has been globally recognized as an innovative, hands-on film school embedded in the industry. It was founded in 2001 by Anna MacDonald and Daisy Gili, who set out on a mission to make film training accessible and set up a school that would offer its students a practical education.

The result was their flagship multi-disciplinary Filmmaking Diploma, a one-year intensive course developed for those who want to learn by doing and acquire the ability to launch straight into the film industry.

London Film Academy Joint Principals and Co-Founders Anna MacDonald (left) and Daisy Gili (right)

“Our student population is incredibly diverse and this diversity means that the films our students collaborate on are truly pioneering, innovative and impactful. They learn how to quickly adapt to the professional world and graduate as fully competent filmmakers that can add real value to any production,” said LFA Joint Principal and Founder Anna MacDonald.

Innovation and collaboration

Now in its 20th year, LFA has produced hundreds of world-class filmmakers who thrive in an environment that emulates the TV and film industry realities. LFA is a school dedicated to nurturing the best talent, maintaining a hands-on approach and ensuring it retains its ethos of being a collaborative, friendly and inclusive learning environment. 

LFA currently offers a practical, fast-track BA (Hons) course in Filmmaking, MA courses in both Filmmaking and Screenwriting, as well as industry-standard specialised short courses, both in-person and online. The courses are taught by an array of high-caliber guest speakers and tutors worldwide, all of which currently work in the industry.

“Throughout these courses, students gain a thorough grounding in the key areas of the filmmaking process, from script to screen, and become multi-skilled and adaptable, favouring the art of collaborative storytelling rather than working as a solo auteur,” said Joint Principal and Founder Daisy Gili.

Staying true to LFA’s founding core values of being pioneering, collaborative, impactful and sustainable, MacDonald and Gili have developed each course to be both inclusive and well-rounded. These courses are not just about developing students' filmmaking skills, but also about nurturing their soft skills.

“The film industry is one of the most competitive environments to work in, meaning you need additional life skills to navigate through it. You need to be resilient, tenacious and adaptable. It has always been incredibly important that we equip our filmmakers with all the skills, knowledge and ongoing support to succeed in this industry,” MacDonald said.

Gili added: “Filmmaking thrives on partnerships and teamwork, so a big part of our students’ education is focused on how to be a team player.

Major screen successes

A testament to LFA’s pioneering film education is the number of world-class filmmakers it has produced over the last two decades. The school’s alumni have been part of major film and TV productions including the Oscar-winning Green Book, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Irishman,The Crown and Chernobyl, for which their graduate, Philip Clements, won the Emmy Award for Best Sound Editing.

Looking back on LFA graduates’ achievements so far, MacDonald commented: “Each of our graduates have gone on to either develop their own passion projects or been a valuable asset within larger productions. We couldn't be prouder of the incredible careers they have created.”

Last year, LFA Filmmaking Certificate graduate Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio was nominated for the Outstanding Debut by a Writer, Director or Producer at the BAFTAs for his debut film Retablo. In 2017, Filmmaking Diploma graduate Vicky Wong Wai-Kit won Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing at the 36th Hong Kong Film Awards for his edgy crime thriller, Trivisa. The film went on to win a total of five awards.

The LFA co-founders with British actor Andy Serkis (center). Seated behind are Gillian Humphreys OBE and Peter David of the Concordia Foundation, co-sponsors of the LFA Pioneer Award

William Tennant, another Filmmaking Diploma alumnus, began working for Mel Gibson’s Icon Entertainment in LA after graduating, before joining Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit) at his production company, Imaginarium Productions. Tennant is currently Head of Development there, overseeing projects such as Breathe, The Ritual and Netflix’s upcoming film No One Gets Out Alive.

LFA filmmaking ecosystem

Based in the heart of Fulham, LFA prides itself on having created a home that is welcoming and inspiring – a place that fosters collaboration and is an inclusive learning environment for all.

“Our LFA home is a converted Victorian church that has its own built-in production studios and cinema. But it’s more than just a bricks-and-mortar building. It’s a thriving ecosystem. Students meet their future collaborators in the hallways. They are taught by world-class professionals in their industry. And upon graduation, they join our thriving creative community – the LFA Filmmakers’ Club!” MacDonald said.

For MacDonald and Gili, graduation does not ever mean goodbye. The Filmmakers’ Club gives members the chance to continue collaborating with the LFA community through invaluable networking opportunities, keep learning from pioneering filmmakers at their regular events and discover how to thrive in the film and TV industry.

Enabling the next generation of talent

MacDonald and Gili have always been passionate about giving talented students from underprivileged backgrounds the access to film education. Over the past 20 years, they have awarded hundreds of partial and full scholarship places at their school to support those who cannot afford the training.

Their most notable bursary is the LFA Pioneers Award, a £23,000 scholarship for an emerging female filmmaker, created to help bridge the gender gap in the industry and help gifted individuals gain the skills and the opportunity to tell us their stories.

To learn more about the LFA, explore its creativity, and find out how students can develop filmmaking skills that can help change the world, visit

Business opportunities in Latin America for Japanese companies

Thanks to Texas' proximity to the emerging markets of Central and South America, several major Japanese companies with significant investments in L...

The Evolving Military Balance in the Taiwan Strait

Panelists discuss the risk of an armed conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan and how the United States should adapt its defense ...

Young Professionals Briefing: The Future of Democracy Around the World

Panelists discuss democratic backsliding, the rights of marginalized populations living under authoritarian regimes, and the prospects for and obst...

TWSE: Cultivating Growth

When gauging a country's economic prospects, analysts first study the historical performance of its financial market and activity that characterize...

Philippines' top EdTech startup secures Series A funding as it boosts reach and engagement

Edukasyon, the leading education technology platform in the Philippines, recently closed its Series A financing round, joined by Asian and European...

Japanese carmakers: A vital part of the U.S. economy

Over nearly four decades, Japanese-brand automakers have built up a vast American presence. It has made a cumulative manufacturing investment of ab...

Casino slot manufacturer attributes success to hard work, vision, and dedication to core values

Japanese gaming giant Konami has invested heavily in Las Vegas, setting up a huge head office in the city from where it develops and markets indust...

Reaffirming a commitment to create equal opportunity

Tracing its origins back more than a century, LHAG has nurtured a reputation for excellence and expertise in dispute resolution, international arbi...

Malaysia: A fresh start

Ten months since historic elections that rocked the nation's political landscape, Malaysia, once again headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, i...

latest special Reports:

More Special Reports: more...

Upcoming Reports from

  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.


    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Join our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.