STUDENTS are celebrating their Newport film school being granted prestigious membership of an elite group of film schools from across the world.

The 2010 CILECT Congress, which is an international association of top film and television schools, unanimously voted in Newport Film School, part of the University of Wales, Newport, as a full member at an industry conference held in Barcelona.

Only two of the ten new film schools going for full membership were granted this accolade, which enables the 148 members from 58 countries to work together, exchange ideas and encourage film and television training in developing countries.

Third year film and video student Martin Izzard, 21, said his degree will now receive better international recognition.

"The school was already really highly regarded and that’s why I chose it, but it will have extra status with this stamp on it," he added.

Aspiring script-writer James Haskin, 23, who is also a third year film student, said the film school benefits from having strong industry contacts and enabling its students to specialise in their areas of interest.

CILET stands for the Centre International de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinéma et de Télévision and was founded in Cannes in 1955.

Newport Film School, which was founded 44 years ago, is the first member from Wales.

The school will move from Caerleon to the university's new city centre campus in January.