BFI Film Academy 2021 - Applications Now Closed

Aged 16-19 and looking to start a career in film? Sign up to the BFI Film Academy now and become a part of the future of the film industry.

'I really enjoyed everything and there was such a range of speakers.' - BFI Film Academy Student 2019

'It's made me realise that I can work in film' - BFI Film Academy Student 2019

We are excited to announce that we will be delivering the BFI Film Academy programme for 2021/22!

We are searching for 20 talented, enthusiastic and hard-working 16-19 years olds from the South Yorkshire region, to take part in this year’s prestigious BFI Film Academy at Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. We are particularly welcoming applications from those groups currently under-represented in the film industry.

The course will run from Wednesday 3rd November until Saturday 5th February, giving you the opportunity to develop professional skills, work with industry professionals and take your first step into the film industry. The course will run every Saturday with a break over the Christmas period. We have some amazing speakers lined up for you this year, including Producer Cat Marshall (Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Warp Films) and Rachel Robey (Calibre, London to Brighton).

Applications have now closed.

The course is traditionally delivered at Showroom Cinema, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 parts of the course will be delivered in-person and online - please see below for more information. Government COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to and we will continually assess the safest and most appropriate way of conducting the course. We will provide updates throughout the application process and should Government COVID-19 guidelines change we will be able to switch to a fully online delivery approach.

Course Leader: Sam Barnett -

Course Coordinator: Nora Murphy -

How do I apply?

Applications have now closed.

What is involved?

By taking part in the BFI Film Academy, you will:

  • Be immersed in all aspects of hands-on filmmaking which will help you to develop your practical knowledge and skills working alongside industry professionals who are respected practitioners in their field.
  • Gain a real insight into the exciting world of cinema, equipping you with skills and experience that are essential to becoming part of our future film industry.
  • Watch a range of cinema from British independent to specialised film.
  • Work in teams on a practical film-based project spread across ten weeks. The films from last year will be screened at the Spirit of Independence Film Festival this year.
  • Work towards a recognised qualification from NCFE.
  • Become part of the BFI Film Academy Alumni and access exclusive opportunities, advice and professional development.

Who can apply?

To apply for the BFI Film Academy you must:

• Be aged 16–19 years old on the first day of the course

• Be based in South Yorkshire

• Have a passion or talent for filmmaking and an ambition to work in the film industry

• Be able to commit to the duration of the course (10 weeks, 4th November – 30th January)

• Not currently be at university or enrolled at university when the course starts

Course dates

The course takes place on Saturdays and there will be an optional online session each Wednesday to work on and develop your short film project.

2021 - 2022 Course Dates

03/11/2021 - 05/02/2022

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 (Timings TBC) - In-person

Saturday 6th November 2021 (09:15 - 15:15) - Online

Saturday 13th November 2021 (09:15 - 15:15) - In-person

Saturday 20th November 2021 (09:15 - 15:15) - Online

Saturday 27th November 2021 (09:15 - 16:15) - In-person

Saturday 4th December 2021 (09:00 - 16:00) - In-person

Saturday 11th December 2021 (09:00 - 16:00) - In-person

Sunday 12th December 2021 (09:00 - 16:00) - In-person

Saturday 15th January 2022 (09:15 - 16:30) - In- person

Saturday 22nd January 2022 (09:15 - 15:30) - Online

Saturday 29th January 2022 (09:15 - 15:30) - Online

Saturday 5th February 2022 (09:15 - 13:00) - In-person

The speakers

Rachel Robey

Rachel Robey - Script to Screen masterclass

Rachel Robey is a film producer with twenty years’ experience. She co-founded Wellington Films, in Nottingham, in 2000 and since then has produced and executively produced numerous feature films including London to Brighton (directed by Paul Andrew Williams), The Levelling (directed by Hope Dickson Leach) and Calibre (directed by Matt Palmer). Rachel’s films have collected numerous awards and nominations including the British Independent Film Awards, BAFTA and BAFTA Scotland, and played at leading film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and the Berlinale. In 2018 Wellington Films was part of Screen International’s Brit 50 list of leading UK film companies.

Yen Yau

Yen Yau - Getting Ahead in the Industry Masterclass

Responsible for and managing national new entrant training scheme for 18-25 year olds who want to work in factual TV/documentaries. The programme is supported by some of the best known independent production companies in the UK, including Arrow Media, Blast Films, The Garden, Dragonfly, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Nutopia, Raw and Wall to Wall.

Paul Fraser

Paul Fraser - Script Masterclass

Prolific scriptwriter Paul Fraser will be delivering a script masterclass to all participants. Well known for his collaboration with Director Shane Meadows - his films include A Room For Romeo Brass, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands and Somers Town.

Caroline Cooper-Charles

Caroline Cooper Charles - Producing Masterclass

Caroline’s 20 year career within the film industry has evolved from running her first production company with acclaimed music video director Dawn Shadforth to her most recent role as Head of Creative at Screen Yorkshire. Along this journey she has spent time as Talent Development Executive for Scottish Film Talent Network, Head of Film at Creative England, Head of Creative Development at Warp X, managed the UK Film Council’s nationwide short film programme through her company Lifesize Pictures and spent a year as Director of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

Cat Marshall

Cat Marshall - Producer - Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Warp Films

Cat Marshall is a South Yorkshire based film producer, who has worked on a number of fantastic films with Warp Films based in Sheffield. These films include the recent hit Everybody's Talking About Jamie, '71, Yardie as well as This Is England '90 and The Virtues. During this session we will be taking a look at the behind the scenes of Everybody's Talking About Jamie and a deep dive into the different roles available on set and the film industry.

Sally Cancello

Sally Cancello – Director / Actress

Sally Cancello is an award-winning actor, writer, director and producer based in Sheffield. Sally studied acting and theatre directing in London before progressing onto film. She started writing and filming her own comedy in 2014, going on to film 10 comedy shorts/sketches over the next 18 months. Sally entered The Funny Women Awards with her fifth short film Time Again, which then won "Best Comedy Short". She continued to make comedy films on zero budget until she secured BFI Network funding for her current short film, Fargate (which had its World Premiere at The Manchester Film Festival in March). She is currently working on a treatment for a comedy feature film (which also has development funding from the BFI Network) and is developing two ideas for TV.

BFI Film Academy Alumni - 2021

Zakria - BFI Film Academy Alumni

BFI Alumni 2021Taking part in the BFI Film Academy at the Showroom Cinema was a great experience. It has made me so aware of all the different paths there as well as teaching you practical film making skills. After finishing the BFI Film Academy in Sheffield, I was lucky to have the chance to progress on to the National Film and Television School (NFTS) which was a brilliant experience. It has opened doors such as being on the Alumni Scheme, we regularly receive job opportunities for major film studios like Disney. All this stemmed from completing film academy at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield who helped me along my journey even after finishing. The BFI Film Academy helped me build skills and knowledge in my craft and it’s good place if you are starting out.

Taylor - BFI Film Academy Alumni

Taylor BFI FAThe BFI Film Academy was a fantastic opportunity because it helped me develop my film-making skills and learn more about the film industry. During the course, I made contact with like-minded creatives and found the guest speakers who contributed to the course incredibly informative. I really appreciated the opportunity to have my very first short film screened at the Showroom Cinema and the guidance we received from established local filmmakers was really helpful. The course provided a fantastic platform to share skillsets with others and a recent collaborative project with other BFI students led to my directing and producing a music video which was recently played on BBC Radio

Dylan - Dissonance ImageDylan - BFI Film Academy Alumni

The BFI Film Academy has been instrumental in developing my passion for filmmaking. Not only has it taught me the ins and outs of working in the film industry but it has opened many paths for me through career, networking, and mentorship opportunities. I would recommend the BFI Film Academy for anyone considering a future in the Film industry as a brilliant foundation to start from for young, amateur or intermediate filmmakers.

bfi film academy Showroom Workstation logo

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