A free film festival will be held this week in Ealing, West London, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign run by GSM London, an independent business school with campuses in Greenford and Greenwich. The campaign, which raised over £4000, was led by Hope Flynn, a GSM London graduate who now lectures on the College's events management programme. Following the success of this pilot project, the College now intends to give students an opportunity to run crowdfunding campaigns of their own, allowing them to gain real world business experiences as part of their studies.
The Film Festival will be held this Friday (11th August) and Saturday (12th August) on Ealing Green. It will include screenings of the classic Ealing comedy 'The Ladykillers' alongside the more recent Hollywood hit 'Dreamgirls'. The event is being supported by 'Make it Ealing' - the area's Business Improvement District (BID) partnership.
Hope Flynn, Lecturer at GSM London, said:
"I am so pleased that we are able to do something like this for our community. Free film showings are a great way for people to have a shared experience and build new connections. It's particularly good to be able to celebrate Ealing's cinematic history by showing the Ladykillers, alongside Dreamgirls, a favourite of our staff and students."
The event has been made possible by a crowdfunding campaign on the 'Spacehive' platform that raised over £4,000. The campaign was launched as a pilot project to begin the process of introducing crowdfunding as a core part of the curriculum across GSM London programmes.
The College is focused on providing higher education opportunities for students from a wider variety of backgrounds than is usually found in traditional universities. Exploring innovative new teaching and learning approaches is a key part of this commitment to widening participation.
Christy Traore, Executive Dean at GSM London, said:
"We have a very different type of student body to most traditional universities. Almost all of our students come to us with a lot of life experience, often having been out of formal education for extended periods. They are entrepreneurial and keen to get cracking on putting what they learn with us into practice, not simply sitting in lecture halls and carrying out written assignments.
"This is why we are exploring new ideas like crowdfunding in the curriculum. As the experience of the Ealing Free Film Festival has shown, the opportunities for students to quickly develop business plans, attract investment and put ideas into action are immense. Over the coming months, we will follow up the success of this campaign by developing ways for students to gain academic credits by running their own crowdfunding campaigns for projects that have a positive community impact."