Former AFTRS director headed to Berlin

05 November, 2015 by Don Groves

Ben Gibson, former director, degree programs at AFTRS, has been named director and manager of the Berlin Film Academy.

The director of the London Film School from 2001 until 2014, he will take up the new post in February.


Gibson stepped down from AFTRS in September and has spent the last few months on a research project for AFTRS Council documenting the nature and use of screen Master of Fine Arts degrees.

He will also lead a co-production workshop for Griffith Film School during the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival conference.

Neil Peplow, the former chief operating officer of the Met Film School in West London's Ealing Studios, has since succeeded Sandra Levy as AFTRS CEO. 

Gibson has declined to discuss his abbreviated tenure at AFTRS but it is instructive to note the Berlin Film Academy caters for adults who generally study for five years and graduate with a feature co-produced by state funds and television. In contrast, AFTRS offers three year bachelor degrees.

In a statement Gibson hailed the Berlin Film Academy as “not just a great film conservatory but also a key institution in the history and future of film and television culture in Germany and in Europe.”

He added, “Until now I was an outside admirer of its special traditions and its powerful creativity; inside the academy I will have a lot to learn and plenty of passion and experience to contribute."

Since its launch Gibson has taught and moderated at the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Talents, an initiative which every year offers 300 talents the opportunity to meet creatives from the international film industry.