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BFI Film Academy – for young aspiring filmmakers

Brighton Film School BFI Film Academy

Are you 16-19? Passionate about film? Want a career in the film industry?

If so, the BFI Film Academy is for you. This course offers you the chance to be part of our future film industry.

BFI ACADEMY 2016 from Tim Copsey on Vimeo.

Brighton Film School is excited to offer a new BFI Film Academy Course for young aspiring filmmakers, starting in October 2016 at our Ditchling Road site. This course differs from our Brighton Young Filmmakers courses in that it includes ongoing assessment together with written and independent course work to build a portfolio, leading to a NCFE qualification. For this reason we request that applicants send a film review (200-400 words) together with their application. The review must be on one of the two films that have been selected below. If you are worried about this in any way then please contact us so that we can provide you with some support.

For this course Brighton Film School is unable to consider applicants outside the specific age group (16-19) or if you are currently studying at University on a degree level course.

The Academy runs once a week on a Monday evening (4.30pm - 6.30pm) plus two shoot days on a Saturday (date tbc), from October 2016 to February 2017. During the course you will write, shoot, edit and premiere a short film. Alongside the acquiring and improving of technical skills you will gain knowledge of the industry’s history and culture through participation in film studies and the review and critique of film productions. Completion of all course work results in an NCFE Level 2 Award in Preparing to Work in the Film Industry.

As a student of the Film Academy:

  • You will get hands-on filmmaking experience which will help you to develop practical knowledge and skills.
  • You can explore your own creativity and passions in a supportive and dynamic environment
  • You will gain invaluable experience working alongside industry professionals who are respected practitioners in their field.
  • You will watch a range of cinema from British Independent to specialised films
  • You will work in teams towards a practical film-based project
  • Once you have completed the Network course, you will become part the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to events such as BAFTA career talks You will also have the opportunity to complete an NCFE qualification on the course

The cost to participate in the BFI Film Academy is £25. But if you will struggle to pay the course fee, don’t be put off as you will be able to indicate this once you are accepted on the course and this fee can be waived.

Bursaries will also be made available if you require assistance with travel, child care or other costs. More information about who can apply for bursaries can be found here:

Take a look at some of the great short films made by previous participants at the BFI Film Academy on YouTube:

What’s more, you could also apply for one of our six intensive residential programmes. Courses last between one and two weeks and are designed to develop more specialist filmmaking skills. You will work closely with leading industry professionals who will give you a unique insight into the filmmaking business and guide you along the way.

Find out how you can use film to achieve an NFCE Qualification:

About the teachers

The course is led by industry professionals Debbie Plentie, whose professional experience includes screenwriting and arts marketing, together with award-winning filmmaker Eva Riley (NFTS 2015 graduate, Cannes selection 2015), plus an exciting range of industry guest lecturers.

Debbie’s writing career began as a member of the Theatre Royal Stratford East Writers Group where she wrote Party Girls, directed by Indhu Rubasingham (now artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre). Her subsequent work includes 64 Days, a runner-up of the inaugural Red Planet screenwriting competition. She has also worked extensively in press and PR, including roles at Richmond Theatre, Theatre Royal Brighton and Chichester Festival Theatre.

Eva graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2015. Her graduation film ‘Patriot’ premiered in the official competition at Cannes. She has been commissioned to write and direct work by organisations including Creative Scotland, BBC Films and Ideastap. These films have gone on to screen at festivals internationally including Edinburgh Film Festival and Palm Springs. Eva has also worked in education for a number of years - teaching young people to write, develop and produce original work. www.evariley.com


Course Dates:-

Compulsory introduction session : Saturday 01-Oct-2016, from 10:00 to 13.00.

Class Times: 16:30 - 18:30 at Ditchling Road Site

Start date : Monday 03-Oct-2016.

End Date: Monday 13-Feb-2017


Please visit our fees page. 


Successful completion of the course will result in an NCFE Level 2 Award in Preparing to Work in the Film Industry.

Students could then progress with a range of different options such as the Filmmaking BTEC Level 4 HNC, Art Direction and Production Design BTEC Level 4 HNC or a number of BFI Summer Schools, residentials or short courses. Full support will be the teaching team to ensure that students are presented with a progression plan onto further training or into the film industry.

How to apply

Successful students will be admitted based on the strength of their application form.

To apply for a place on the course please download the application form and submit to info@brightonfilmschool.co.uk

We also require a film review (200-400 words) of one of the following films to be attached to your application, both films can be viewed on YouTube:
  • 'Egg and Fag' by Rose Hendry
  • 'Gasman' by Lynne Ramsay