Screen and Film School Birmingham has a new College Principal

15 November, 2022

Screen and Film School are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new College Principal in Birmingham, Sam Hope.

Sam has over 12 years’ worth of academic leadership experience in the Higher Education sector, prior to which she had an award-winning career in broadcast television over a period of 16 years. Born and bred in Birmingham, Sam is very proud of her Brummie heritage and is excited about the opportunities the nearby Digbeth Creative Quarter, including the BBC Studio move, will bring for students at Screen and Film School Birmingham.

Sam entered Higher Education from industry, as Director Institute of Media Arts, successfully leading a cross-school directive for the Vice Chancellor. This was followed by promotions to Principal Lecturer, Head of Schools of Art and Media, Associate Dean portfolios, and a Deputy Honorarium. Sam has strong experience of curriculum innovation and development. She has led root and branch cross-school reviews of all courses, emphasising project-led learning, employability and research with her academic leadership recognised by higher education professional body Advance HE.

Sam is passionate about education and social mobility, as well as the importance of the arts in education and diversity in screen, film and cultural sectors. She also strongly believes in widening participation in Higher Education and was awarded an Advance HE Senior Fellowship in Higher Education Award (SFHEA) in 2018, in recognition of innovative and inclusive pedagogic practices. Moreover, Sam chairs cultural and creative industry networks across the West Midlands.

The first generation in her family to be awarded a degree, Sam studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins School in London and won a scholarship to study film at Syracuse University, New York State. After graduating, Sam entered ITV Central Birmingham Studios as the first female technical operator and was awarded the first ITV Trainee Director scheme.

Starting her career as a Director in Children’s ITV, Sam was promoted through the ranks to Producer, Senior Producer and then Director of Creative Services across 6 ITV regions. Sam produced high profile promotional campaigns with numerous actors, celebrities and presenters, including Ant and Dec, Robbie Williams, Stephen Mulhern, Holly Willoughby, Hugh Laurie and Benedict Cumberbatch. Further major television campaigns that Sam has overseen have included ITV’s coverage of the World Cup, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup Finals at Wembley, as well as ITN news across the UK and interviews with Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.

In higher education, whilst she was a Principal Investigator, Sam led numerous projects in the UK and internationally to increase access of under-represented groups in the arts including Deaf communities in the UK, Austria, Italy, France and Sweden so they could access training and careers in film, tv, media and the creative industries. Following those endeavours, she was asked to attend the EU Parliament in Brussels to advise Members of the European Parliament on the subject.

Here’s what Sam had to say about her new role:

“I was first made aware of Screen and Film School coming to Birmingham through Create Central, a West Midlands industry body for the media and creative sectors. I am very excited that the city now has a specialist Film School and thrilled by the prospect of the opportunities this will bring to students and to the city by producing the next generation of talented screen and film professionals.

As College Principal, I shall work hard for our students, make sure they have an excellent learning experience and access to the best industry professionals, creative thinkers and change makers. I will also ensure that they continue to have great opportunities to experience industry through work placements, masterclasses and to learn from the brilliant team of teaching staff that we have here at Screen and Film School Birmingham. I want our students to have the confidence to try new things, maximise the opportunities we provide them, and to be proactive and successful creative professionals when they graduate.”

Dara Kilkenny, Screen and Film School Executive Principal, shared her thoughts about the news:

“I’m delighted that Sam has joined the senior Screen and Film School team as College Principal in Birmingham. Her skillset and experience are a perfect combination of both industry and academic, and I know that she will bring this knowledge to bear on an excellent experience for each and every student in our Screen and Film School Birmingham community, as well as promoting a diverse space where new narratives can be encouraged, explored and told.”

Everyone at Screen and Film School would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Sam, and we are looking forward to a creative and prosperous future for the Film School under her guidance.

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