The British Film Institute announced April 12 the new organization Film Nation UK, funded by revenue from the National Lottery, "will aim to safeguard and boost future film audiences through learning and appreciation of film and stimulate a new generation of filmmakers and film talent."
The $39.9 million program will be taught in all schools across the country, Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
"People at the BFI argue all the time, and I think they're right: isn't it weird that we learn Shakespeare but we don't learn Hitchcock?" Greg Dyke, a former BBC director general, told the Times Education Supplement. "It seems ridiculous to us that in a world where the moving image is the major means of communication, schools seem a long way behind."
Dyke said the funds would go toward an after-school program and training teachers. In the long term, he said, the BFI hopes film will become a part of the national curriculum.
He said there has been an "explosion" during the past two decades in using video as a means of communication, with YouTube and smart phones. It would be a "mistake" if schools ignored the medium, Dyke added.
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