Andrew Barnsley recently returned from a whirlwind 11-day business trip to China – his very first representing Toronto Film School in its ever-expanding role as a global leader in training solutions for the creative industries.
During his jam-packed tour of the country, TFS’s Emmy Award-winning president sought to “build and support the global creative industries” through many speaking engagements, partnership-affirming visits and networking opportunities.
Barnsley, who also serves as CEO of Project 10 Productions, delivered a keynote speech at the 17th annual HTI National Summit, where he spoke to the development of the North American film industry and the demand for educational pathways into the entertainment and gaming industries.
He also met with officials from Beijing Film Academy (BFA), Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) and the Shanghai Institute of Design to discuss TFS’s ongoing strategic partnerships with those schools, as well as to explore potential student and faculty exchanges. He was joined by Video Game Design & Animation Program Director Rob Elsworthy, who delivered a workshop to students at BFA, and by Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre instructor John Tench, who conducted acting exercises with STA students.
Barnsley also made some time to connect with TFS alumni who are working and creating in the “vibrant Chinese creative industries.” One of the recent TFS grads Barnsley met with was Xiaoyu Chen, a Class of 2018 Film Production alumnus whose film Gone with the Boat received several nods at the 2023 Shanghai International Film Festival – including the Best Script Writer Award and nominations for Best Film and Best Director.
“I also met with global education agents looking for training solutions for the creative industries in their countries and spoke with students and potential students looking at ways to build their careers and leave their creative marks on the world,” Barnsley said.
“I toured studios that are leaders in innovative ways to tell stories on a global scale, and I met with representatives of the Canadian embassy in China to look for ways to support the bridges we are building.”
Praising the “amazing food,” “incredible beauty,” and “exciting culture” he experienced in China, Barnsley said he hopes to return again soon to continue building momentum for the film and television industries there.
Barnsley’s trip to China came on the heels of an early October trip with Film Production Program Director Steven Hoffner to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was invited to be a panelist at the Saudi Film Confex to speak about the future of global film and television production.