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Peterhead film director to be patron of new performance school

Jon S Baird with legendary film director Martin Scorsese last year
Jon S Baird with legendary film director Martin Scorsese last year

A renowned film director, born and raised in Peterhead, has been named as patron of a new performance academy in Aberdeen.

Jon S Baird has taken on the role with Ten Feet Tall Academy which will open its doors in September.

The institute will offer young people, aged between seven and 15,  the chance to take part in weekly acting, film, television and comedy classes hosted by the International School of Aberdeen.

Mr Baird, critically acclaimed for his work on Stan and Ollie, and the award-winning Filth, grew up in the north-east before finding success as a director in London.

He said that offering more opportunities for the next generation of creative individuals was something he was keen to be involved with.

Mr Baird added: “When I was a young boy growing up in the north-east, the thought of telling people I wanted to be a film director seemed unrealistic.

“It wasn’t until my Dad took me to see Oliver in London when I was eight that a spark ignited and I realised I wanted to tell stories to audiences.

“Many creative people I have met, have talked about a specific moment like this: a moment that set them on a path for the rest of their lives.

“It’s incredibly exciting to hear that Ten Feet Tall Academy will be offering these moments in abundance to many young people across the north-east of Scotland.

“Whether students wish to head towards a career in the arts or develop interpersonal skills, it’s a place where making an impact on the lives of their students is a priority.

“I’m proud to be Ten Feet Tall Academy’s patron and wish that something like this had been around when I was a youngster.”

In his career, Mr Baird has worked with such exalted figures as Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Danny Boyle, and a string of star actors, including James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Steve Coogan and John C Reilly.

Now, Ten Feet Tall Academy is not only hoping to inspire the next generation but enhance youngsters’ development.

Academy principal Adam Coutts said: “This is about much more that young people honing performance skills.

“We believe that a child’s involvement in drama is about much more than performing on stage. We wish to pass on skills for life.

“With our dedicated and professional team, we will focus on offering opportunities for students to kick-start their careers in the industry as well as nurturing beginners and those new to performing.”

To find out more about the academy, visit www.tenfeettallacademy.com

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