Film London has named Babak Jani as Head of Skills, to oversee the screen agency’s skills initiatives, including the new Metro London Skills Cluster. Funded by the BFI National Lottery funding for skills,the Cluster will be dedicated to supporting the development of a skills pipeline for the screen industries including film, TV, games and animation and will be led by Film London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS).
Babak Jani is the former course leader in BA Film Production at Art University Bournemouth and an established cinematographer with experience across film, TV, commercial, animation, and games.
Experienced in the creative industry and passionate about education, Babak is enterprising in equality and diversity programmes. In a time when investing in creative skills is paramount for our industry's growth, Babak, with a foundation in the film industry, has honed his craft for over 18 years. His journey was augmented with 11 years of experience in Higher and Further education and training programmes, supplementing his understanding of creativity's elaborateness.
By recognising equality and diversity as the principal of his practice, Babak has led transformative initiatives, acknowledging that the vibrant tapestry of backgrounds and perspectives fuels innovation. Amidst this pivotal moment, he is committed to fortifying existing efforts and pioneering fresh avenues for inclusive growth.
Babak fosters collaboration and innovations as our creative industries evolve to shape creative skills and cultivate a community that thrives on openness, where creative minds of all kinds can flourish.
Embracing this new role, my heart brims with excitement for the journey ahead and I’m delighted to be joining the Film London team. This juncture could not be more critical—a time where investing in skills for our industries stands as paramount. The unveiling of a fresh skills cluster fills me with pride, and the opportunity to contribute and intensify our ongoing efforts is one I treasure. Together, we're continuing the legacy of our work in this realm and sculpting new avenues for growth, innovation, and prosperity in the capital. The foundation of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion is our bedrock as we cultivate the productive ground for our creative industry's growth and employability, ushering in an era of boundless possibilities.
Babak Jani, Head of Skills, Film London
The UK’s Film and Television industry generates billions of pounds for the UK economy and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Official 2022 statistics revealed a £6.27 billion film and high-end television production spend in the UK, reinforcing UK’s position as a global production centre. The new skills cluster will serve to help meet this demand, developing and expanding London’s talented workforce.
The Metro London Skills Cluster will be led by Film London and the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and will include three core partners: the Association of Colleges (AoC) and London Higher, the Capital City College Group (CCCG) and Middlesex University. Collectively, the Cluster partners will work closely with industry to deliver an integrated programme of activities across London and the three Gateway counties. It will add value to what’s already available and on offer to applicants, aiming to intensively scale up provision to build a workforce to match the future demand and is aimed at people at all levels of their training and career journey. This builds on the work of the Mayor of London’s Creative Skills Academy, launched in January 2022, which will become part of the Skills Cluster.
I am personally very pleased to welcome Babak to Film London. He will be a key addition to our senior management team, bringing not only his knowledge of skills and education to us but also his fresh insight as a creative practitioner. It’s vital that we continue to develop our talented, diverse workforce here in London, to capitalise on demand and fill thousands of new jobs being created. Together with NFTS, the Mayor of London, the BFI and industry partners, we’re committed to providing an even wider level of access to opportunities across London and the South East.
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London
The Metro London Skills Cluster will cover London and three of the Gateway counties to its west - Hertfordshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire. The area is home to major producers and studios including Elstree, Pinewood, Ealing, Twickenham, Shepperton, Leavesden, Longcross and Bovingdon. These studios are also the UK production centres for some of the biggest film and television companies in the world including Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney, Netflix and Amazon.
The initial activity of the Skills Cluster will focus on three broad thematic areas: Employability, Workforce Retention and Progression for New Entrants and Curriculum Development/Pilots.