Module details

The MA International Film Business includes a number of bespoke modules designed by the University of Exeter and the London Film School. These include:

Business Skills and Concepts for Independent Film

Taught in conjunction with the University of Exeter Business School, this module introduces you to theoretical and practical concepts related to finance, investment, intellectual property, and business strategy, and applies these concepts directly to the independent film industry. You’ll receive rigorous and honest insights into the realities of entrepreneurial activity and financial management, as well as an understanding of the role independent film companies play in the modern entertainment and film economy.

These two intensive blocks of teaching at the Business School will be taught in Exeter.

Distribution and Markets

This module investigates and scrutinises independent film production, distribution, and exhibition practices across a range of historical periods, and draws on major examples from North American, European, and World film cultures. Organized around case studies that exemplify particular phases in the development of global independent film, you’ll have the opportunity to consider how films are prepared for and delivered to audiences in specific historical, cultural and industrial contexts, covering such issues as planning, production, marketing, release patterns, and impact.

This module will be taught in Exeter.

The Entertainment Value Chain

This module offers you a wide-ranging exploration of the entertainment value chain, a crucial concept for understanding the nature of the independent film business. It shows you how to describe and define the value chain that flows through every film, and specifically to identify where value enters the chain, how it is locked in, to whom it belongs, and when and how that value is unlocked. Drawing on case studies that demonstrate how value is conceived in the film business, the module enables you to consider how creative elements contribute to each stage of a film’s financing and distribution, and how content forms the basis for production and marketing decisions.

This module will be taught in London.

Models of Innovation

The module is structured around three two-day symposiums involving workshops, plenary and breakout sessions. It provides an intensive, open-ended forum for discussion between students and staff from both the LFS and the University of Exeter as well as invited speakers working in the film industry. Emphasis is placed on providing space to reflect on ideas and approaches concerning independent film finance, markets and distribution as introduced in previous modules. Each symposium is structured to develop specific themes in relation to these approaches with an emphasis on history and theory as well as practice.

The symposia will take place towards the end of the second term, with the precise content of each tailored to the research interests and specialisms of the participating speakers, tutors and students. Programme specifics will be confirmed in advance. We anticipate that two of the symposia will take place in London (at the LFS), with the final symposium taking place in Exeter. 

This module will be taught in London.

Final project / Group project / Dissertation

The final project allows you to produce a portfolio of work that reflects the practical application of independent filmmaking, delivery or curating, either alone or in a group. You will develop a case study or virtual project, based on one element studied in previous modules on the degree  - for example, you may choose to create a virtual production company to explore a specific aspect of development, financing, sales and distribution in relation to the independent film production.

The specific topic for the dissertation project will be selected by you or your group in discussion with one of the course tutors - acting as the dissertation project supervisor - ensuring that the final project/dissertation is informed by the overarching learning process of the MA as a whole.

Alternately, you may choose to undertake a final dissertation related to an issue covered on one of the modules, which you will then develop into an independent study of 20,000 words. You will work with both your allotted supervisor and an industry-based mentor, who will provide practical advice and guidance.

This module will be taught in London.