Diploma courses put acting academy on global stage

Charlotte Armitage

A Yorkshire acting academy is going global following the launch of new diploma courses.

The rapidly expanding Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) has already received a raft of applications for its new Applied Screenwriting diploma and Film and TV Production diploma. Alongside their existing Acting For Screen Diploma, applications have arrived from as far afield as the United States, Germany and South Africa.

YAFTA has added the two diploma courses to its impressive range of existing courses that focus on delivering industry expertise and specialist knowledge to its students across a wide range of acting, screenwriting and TV and film production disciplines.

Based in Leeds, YAFTA provides professional screen acting training for children, teenagers and adults for all ages and all abilities. Having only been founded in 2013, it now looks set to welcome its first raft of international students to the 200 students already enrolled on courses there.

As well as the new 18-month blended learning diploma courses, YAFTA also provides a range of part-time, evening and weekend workshops in its newly-renovated premises that sits opposite Emmerdale’s dedicated production unit on Leeds’ Kirkstall Road, a traditional TV production heartland in the North.

Charlotte Armitage, head of YAFTA, said: “We’ve been inundated with applications and we’re thrilled to see our reach has now gone international. The UK has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its TV and film acting and production standards and it’s a huge boost to see YAFTA now on the global radar of budding students of the industry.

“We have really high hopes for the success of the new courses. We are already known for our acting courses in the industry, so we wanted to introduce a production course that would provide the same high quality teaching and expertise.”

All classes are led by tutors with a breadth of TV and film credits to their name, with Ian Bevitt, a director of almost 400 episodes of Coronation Street, among the many tutors leading modules on the new Film & TV Production diploma.

Charlotte, herself an actress who has regularly appeared in the likes of Coronation Street and Happy Valley, added: “What makes YAFTA’s courses unique is that students from different disciplines are able to work together so that they see the entire process from screenwriting, through acting and then production.

“Regardless of what course the student wants to be on, it offers them a holistic view of the fundamental procedures involved. That’s crucial for our goal of producing industry ready students.”

YAFTA Talent Agency is one of the few acting agencies outside of London that is a member of the Personal Managers Association and also offers responsible representation of graduates from its sister academy.

“The film and television industry is notoriously difficult,” added Charlotte. “You need to have tenacity and resilience and we prepare students for that. As well as expert tutors and a structured syllabus, we also provide a strong support network meaning students are fully supported from the get-go.”

Founded in 2013, YAFTA was born from Charlotte’s desire to set up an academy where she herself would want to act and continue to learn her craft.

Having started with just one one-hour class a week, YAFTA now delivers four acting diploma cohorts and 14 evening classes for around 200 budding actors. From February 2018 onwards two additional diploma cohorts will be launched for screenwriters and film and television production hopefuls.


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