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Film charity to close with the loss of 15 jobs

Film Education, which works with schoolchildren, lost 60 per cent of its funding after the industry body Cinema First switched its backing

Film Education, a charity that introduces young people to film, will close at end of this week with the loss of 15 jobs.

The charity, which had an annual income of £1.2m, will be forced to make 13 full-time and two part-time staff redundant when it closes on Friday after 26 years of operation.

Film Education received 60 per cent of its funding from Cinema First, an industry body that represents film distributors in the UK.

But Cinema First switched its backing to a scheme to educate schoolchildren provided by Filmclub and First Light, with the backing of the British Film Institute.

Film Education decided it had no future without the funding from Cinema First, despite deriving some of its income from training teachers.

Programmes such as National Schools Film Week, which involved 500,000 children visiting cinemas for free during one week every October, will be closed down along with the charity.

The charity also provided film-related curriculum materials and resources for schools and film workshops for students.

The charity said it was proud of its achievements and thanked its various backers since 1987.

"I started Film Education 26 years ago and I am devastated for the staff, who are all losing their jobs," said Ian Wall, the charity’s founder. "It has come as quite a shock. We have been receiving emails from teachers who are saying they are very sad to lose this resource for the classroom." 

Wall said that he and James Lennox, the charity’s managing director, did not know what role they would seek next or if they would continue to work in the film or charity sectors.

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