Producer Baldwin Li at Edinburgh Film Festival

BIMM University / Master's

Oscar® and BAFTA-nominated film producer Baldwin Li joins Manchester MA faculty

15th May 2024

Continuing our series highlighting the impressive new faculty for the MA in Screen & Film Production at Screen and Film School Manchester, we are delighted to welcome award-winning producer Baldwin Li. Baldwin has been at Screen and Film School Manchester since it opened in 2021, lecturing at undergraduate level.

In this interview, Li shares his journey from his critically acclaimed debut feature England is Mine to joining the new Manchester MA programme as a lecturer and mentor. We discuss his vision for mentoring the next generation of filmmakers, providing them with invaluable industry insights and guidance as they specialise in areas like producing, directing, screenwriting, and more.

Li’s extensive experience and accolades, including Oscar® and BAFTA nominations, make him an exceptional addition to the world-class team shaping Manchester’s cutting-edge MA program.

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Can you tell us about your background and journey as a film producer, and how you became involved in teaching at MA level?

I half-accidentally became a producer. Initially, I had wanted to be a director, but ended up producing and directing my first major film, which was a micro-budget feature film drama.

Baldwin Li standing in front of large Oscar statue wearing a tuxedo suit and smiling

What inspired you to pursue a career in film production, and what particular genres or styles do you specialise in?

I love the combination of artforms that make up film: photography, music, sound, acting performance, writing… all of which contribute to the telling of a story. I prefer films with a strong narrative and storytelling style rather than completely abstract ones!

What unique opportunities does teaching at MA level offer for both educators and students in the field?

It is often said that the best way to learn is to teach, so I’m looking forward to learning from the process of teaching from talented students!

How do you approach mentoring and guiding MA students through their creative projects and academic studies?

The MA programme gives us an opportunity to provide one-to-one bespoke learning with the students. My process always involves listening carefully to students, as well as gently interrogating them to get to the heart of where their inspiration comes from, so I can help them bring their ideas to life.

Can you share any memorable experiences or success stories from your time teaching at Screen and Film School?

A film that I supervised during the first year BA Filmmaking degree recently premiered at The Manchester International Film Festival to a full house at the Odeon, Great Northern, with over 250 people in attendance.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments, and incorporate this knowledge into your teaching?

I am actively pursuing my own projects to stay connected to the current trends in the industry as I go about my business.

Can you discuss any research or creative projects you’re currently working on, and how they inform your teaching practise?

I am currently diversifying into directing and co-writing films, which feeds back into developing my skills as a producer. It’s great to see the process from these slightly different perspectives.

Looking ahead, what do you see as the future of film education and the role of MA programmes in shaping the next generation of industry professionals?

I’m very conscious that working conditions in the industry are not always ideal and that the next generation of filmmakers has the opportunity to establish and maintain better working conditions for everyone in the industry.

What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers or producers who are considering pursuing a master’s degree in Screen and Film Production?

Remember that the role of the producer is highly creative, as well as logistical and managerial. It’s challenging, but very rewarding!


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