The history of Screen and Film School: 8 key milestones in our rich history

16th May 2023

Take a trip back in time with us to discover how the Screen and Film School we all know and love first came to be.

Our illustrious history spans more than twenty years, three brilliant UK cities and thousands of students and graduates. From our origins as ‘Brighton Film School’ through to a complete rebrand when we became Screen and Film School, through to our expansion into the Midlands and Manchester, come back in time with us and discover 8 key milestones in our rich history.

1. Brighton Film School starts to deliver practical degree courses – 2011

Before Screen and Film School became verified and bona fide, there was a period between 2011 and 2019 when we were known simply as ‘Brighton Film School’ and we were located at Citibase in Brighton. Back then, the school was overseen by film producer, Gary Barber, who was the Director of the school until 2018.


2. Brighton Film School becomes part of BIMM – 2018

BIMM, or the British and Irish Modern Music Institute as it was then, and Brighton Film School formed a new partnership in 2018. The new partnership recognised the natural overlap of creativity in the music and film industries and a new era for the Film School started in earnest.


3. Brighton Film School rebrands to Screen and Film School – 2019

SFS Logo Black

A year later, once the new allegiance was fully formed, the Film School had big plans to expand geographically. A name change was in order and Screen and Film School was born.


4. Screen and Film School Manchester opens – 2021

With established sites in Brighton already flourishing under the guidance of College Principal Itziar Leighton, Screen and Film School started to spread its wings and look to the North. In the spring of 2021, our Manchester campus opened at Riverside Studios on New Quay Street. Fast forward two years and College Principal David Thompson now oversees a student cohort of more than 200 students. Our Manchester campus was unveiled by our world-renowned Patron and Game of Thrones superstar Cinematographer, Fabian Wagner.


5. Screen and Film School Birmingham opens – 2021

In the autumn of 2020, Screen and Film School announced that we would be branching out into the Midlands and opening a Film School in Birmingham. We opened in Digbeth as planned in 2021 and by the time we officially cut the ribbon in May of 2022, we had a group of fully fledged first-year students there to witness our Patron, Adil Ray OBE, do the deed. At the time Adil had this to say: ‘I feel very proud to be a patron of Screen and Film School Birmingham. It’s so essential for our region, as we’re such a thriving industry now, and it’s growing all the time.’ Fast forward to the present day, and Screen and Film School Birmingham has over 100 students and they can all look forward to watching Stephen Knight’s Loc Studios opening just around the corner in the very near future.


6. Brighton Film Studios opens – 2022

With three buoyant Film Schools situated across three thriving film regions, it was time to build on what we already had in Brighton and in 2022, building is exactly what we did. That summer, we officially launched our huge new filmmaking facility, Brighton Film Studios, with a celebratory event attended by students, staff and film industry specialists. This dedicated filmmaking facility represented a giant leap forward in Screen and Film School Brighton’s continued development. The 21,000 square foot space houses state-of-the-art facilities for our students, applicants and industry partners as well as housing our specialist courses for Production Design and Hair & Make-Up.


7. BIMM is granted University status – 2022

In the summer of 2022, we continued our close relationship with BIMM Institute when they were granted full university status by the Department for Education. Everyone at Screen and Film School was delighted that we had been formally recognised as the UK’s newest university for the creative industries and this marked a huge milestone in our joint history, becoming the largest education provider for the creative industries in Europe.


8. Creative Technology courses soon to launch – 2023

What does the future hold for Screen and Film School? To continue building on the successes of the years since we became Screen and Film School, this year we plan to announce an extremely exciting new subject area: Creative Technology. We anticipate that this will be one of many key milestones that will follow in the coming years to add to the already rich and varied history that we have looked back on here. Who knows, our story might even be worthy of its own film one day…



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BIMM University

BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester