The idea of ‘strategy’ can be seen, cynically, as the creation of a document, Powerpoint, or short publication that makes big claims, bold promises, but is short on detail. Strategies too often are designed near the top of an organisation, and handed to others to implement. They are often internal-facing, imagining that the outside world can just be brought alongside. The legendary management guru Peter Drucker famously said ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ His insight struck a chord: the cleverest thinking, on the most impressive Powerpoint, can’t overcome reality.
The worlds of business, commerce, politics, education and culture are littered with these bold idealistic plans that became redundant when a government or CEO moved on, and the worlds of film education are no different. There are social and cultural realities at play in the world at large that make any attempt to establish bold plans for film education very difficult indeed. For example, the dominance of the American film studios in the UK film market means that non-English language, or independent niche English language film, finds it very hard to reach an audience.
However, it is vital in any endeavour to sometimes think big, and bold, and imagine creatively. Creating a shared vision can be very powerful for an organisation, no matter how big or small. It takes people away from micro-focused project details, and the day-to-day. If it genuinely thinks from the ‘bottom up’, as well as ‘top down’, and listens to stakeholders and interest groups, then a strategy can create clarity and purpose, and excitement and energy.
In 2012, a group of European organisations surveyed 33 EU and EEA countries to gauge the state of film education in Europe. They found that in only a handful of countries was there a comprehensive plan for film education, that covered all the sectors and stakeholders and interest groups, and that crucially, had all the main players actively in support. The publication of the survey, ‘Screening Literacy’, listed all the components of an ‘ideal model of film education’ which we have inserted below.
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