Drama producer Sister is setting up a London school that aims to open up the TV industry to people from a wider range of backgrounds.
The indie behind Sky Atlantic/HBO drama Chernobyl and BBC2/Netflix co-pro Giri/Haji (pictured) is funding a UK arm of the Ghetto Film School, which already operates out of New York and Los Angeles.
Between March and June, it will recruit a group of 16 to 18 year-olds, who will undertake an 18-month training programme designed to establish them as employable candidates for TV roles who have got to such a position on merit rather than nepotism. The US schools are reported to have a 90% success rate in terms of graduates landing full-time or consistent work in the creative sector.
Sister executive producer Chris Fry told The Observer this weekend: “We don’t specifically pick young people who are BAME, the school becomes naturally diverse just by going to the right sort of place with the right criteria: teenagers with a strong visual storytelling instinct.”
The Ghetto School’s 10-strong board includes Lee Daniels, the US film-maker behind TV drama Empire and upcoming movie The United States vs Billie Holiday, as well as James Murdoch.
Elisabeth Murdoch, James’ sister and former Shine chief executive, co-founded Sister in 2019, expanding Jane Featherstone’s established label Sister Pictures. The leadership team is rounded out by former Twentieth Century Fox chief executive Stacey Snider.
The free London school will be run by Tony Fernandes, a 21-year-old from Enfield who joined a pilot project in 2017 and has since worked in Britain and America.
Sister's upcoming slate includes adaptations of Adam Kay's medical best-seller This Is Going To Hurt, Naomi Alderman's dystopian novel The Power and James Tynion IV's comic book Department of Truth.