High Distinction: Film School and Studio for Diverse Filmmakers

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 1.27.07 PM

For the past few months, I was working with two close friends of mine. Blair Macdonald and Oliver Clark (known as the directing duo Novemba). We were developing an idea for a new social enterprise called High Distinction. It was to be an advertising film school and creative studio. We wanted to support young Londoners from diverse backgrounds to break into the advertising, film, and tv industries. We also wanted to shake up the creative industries by highlighting the benefits of a diverse workforce.

What we wanted to do?

We wanted to teach the art and business of making branded content and create a space with young people from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in filmmaking. We wanted to do this by making real films for real clients with live briefs. This was not to be a pretend training environment. We wanted to partner with global brands and create films that form part of their broader marketing campaigns.

Why were we doing this?

Because the best ideas aren’t being made. The best stories aren’t being told. We believe many of the best concepts and narratives are in the minds of young people from diverse backgrounds. They have been excluded from the advertising, film, and tv industries for many social and economic reasons. We want to change that.

We want to provide the necessary training and support for young people from diverse backgrounds to be able to break into the creative industries. We also want to make it easier and more attractive for creative companies to hire talent from undervalued and underrepresented communities. Our ultimate goal is to change our collective culture. To make it more inclusive, which we believe will make it more creative.

We are all products of our unique cultures and experiences. The more we share our ideas and stories with people from different backgrounds, the better we become. We learn more, we understand more, and we see how things can be interpreted in a different way. By being be able to see things from different perspectives, we become more empathetic. This makes us all more open, compassionate, and imaginative.

This enterprise was a side project that got sidelined. It was put on the back burner due to a lack of funding and other commitments in our careers. If you would like to see life breathed back into it, get in contact about how we can collaborate and make it work. This enterprise could work and have a significant impact if the right partners came together to make it happen. Here is a link to our ambitious plan.

Here is a quick look at Novemba’s latest film, 2.5 million views and counting. For all their films go to Novemba Films.

Leave a Reply