Audience Academy

bfi film academy

We are looking for 30 talented, enthusiastic and hard-working 16-19 year olds from across the UK to take part in the BFI Audience Academy 2016, which runs from Sunday 24 July 2016 until Saturday 30 July 2016.

Whether you’re a filmmaker, film blogger, regular cinema goer, or someone who simply enjoys watching and talking about films with friends, this exciting and intensive week-long residential will give you a real insight into the world of cinema.

Being part of the BFI Audience Academy means that you will get to enjoy a diverse programme of films, and experience masterclasses and workshops with industry experts in a range of areas such as festivals, programming, distribution, and both commercial and independent cinema. You will also gain invaluable hands-on experience in film marketing, exhibition and distribution, having the exciting opportunity to work in groups to design and plan your own ‘film season’ focussing on a genre of your choice.

You will be mentored throughout your time at the academy, and will get the chance to meet various industry professionals on a daily basis who can help guide you and give you tips on how to kick-start your career in film. 

You will also meet lots of other interesting, creative and like-minded young people from across the UK, and will together become part of the BFI Audience Academy alumni, entitling you to exclusive opportunities after the course has ended, such as attending the ‘This Way Up’ conference in Glasgow this December. 

What some of last year's students thought...

Fatemeh - "Thank-you for organising this course, I don't think I could have learnt as much anywhere else. I met some amazing people too!"

Sophie - "The talks by all the industry professionals were really interesting! I've learnt a crazy amount about all the intricacies of film."

Lucy - "I didn't expect the course to be so packed with high quality industry speakers and the days to be so varied."

BFI Film Academy costs just £50, which will include all of your accommodation and food.  Bursaries are available to cover this fee, as well as for any travel costs (no matter where you are in the UK) or childcare.

If you have previously been on a BFI residential course, you are unfortunately not eligible to apply for the BFI Audience Academy, but participation in any non-residential BFI network academy is fine.

Some of our confirmed speakers this year include:

Jaq Chell

Jaq Chell is the Operations and Development Manager at Cinema For All, the national support and development organisation for community cinemas and film societies in the UK. She has over 10 years’ experience in the exhibition sector and is dedicated to ensuring all communities have access to the films they want to see. She also writes for Sheffield cultural website Our Favourite Places, and is part of the Girls on Films collective of writers and programmers.

Rachel Tunnard

Rachel is the writer/director of award winning Adult Life Skills. Adult Life Skills won the Nora Ephron prize at Tribeca, 2016 and her short film Emotional Fusebox was also nominated for a BAFTA and BIFA. Rachel will be with us to teach the students about the role of a filmmaker, particularly in promoting their own film.

Sheffield Doc/Fest

Industry professionals from Sheffield Doc/Fest will be with us to talk about what a festival is and how they support films; from an idea, to screening at the festival, to distribution in the UK.

Simran Hans

Simran Hans is a freelance writer for publications including BuzzFeed, Dazed, The FADER, Little White Lies, Pitchfork, New Statesman and Sight & Sound magazine. She is also producer and programmer of feminist film festival The Bechdel Test Fest, an ongoing celebration of films that pass the Bechdel Test and represent women in a positive and progressive light. Find her on Twitter @heavier_things.


For more information, please download the application pack here:
Application Pack

To apply, submit your application via email to:

Alternatively, you can submit your application by post or in person to
The Audience Academy, The Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 BX

Deadline for application: Friday 24th June (midday) 

Abi1The Audience Academy forms part of the BFI Film Academy, a UK wide comprehensive training and education initiative. It ensures that gifted young people from anywhere in the UK have the opportunity to gain the essential skills needed to enter the film industry. An exemplary programme led by industry experts, BFI Film Academy courses cover every aspect of film and equips young people with the knowledge, practical skills and contacts to help them in their next steps in education or careers in the Industry.


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