BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course 2022

Applications for the 2022 BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course are now open.

This course is part of BFI Film Academy, a national talent programme supported by the Department for Education and the National Lottery. For more information about the BFI Film Academy Specialist Courses please click here.

The BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course 2022 is a cinema programming training programme taking place for one week in person and one week online. 16 to 19-year-olds from across the UK get to learn about film programming, marketing and distribution and eventually put on their own film festival at the Showroom Cinema. Whether you’re a filmmaker, blogger, regular cinema goer, or someone who simply enjoys watching and talking about films, this exciting and intensive residential programme will give you a real insight into the world of cinema. Click here to take a look at the film festival put together by our cohort last year, the film programme included Blade Runner, Rafiki, Pariah and Jennifer's Body. Our previous alumni have gone on to work at Warner Brothers, Sheffield Doc/Fest and much more.

“The experience of organising this festival as well as the tasks leading up to its production has been an incredible opportunity to evolve new skills” - BFI Film Academy Young Programmer, 2021-22

"The BFI Academy has been a fantastic and rewarding programme, enabling us to develop our very own unique festival with direct feedback and advice from industry professionals that I admire. It has truly been an unforgettable experience!" - BFI Film Academy Young Programmer, 2021-22

We offer a generous bursary scheme to cover any costs that will enable you to take part. You will be mentored throughout your time at the residential and will get the chance to meet various industry professionals on a daily basis who can give you tips on how to kick-start your career in film. The course will be delivered with a residential week in Sheffield, followed by a week of online masterclasses, and culminating with the film festival organised by our students taking place in person later during the year. Speakers include Danny Leigh, Altitude Distribution, BIFA, We Are Parable and filmmakers from across the UK.

The fee for the course is calculated on a sliding scale which is means tested, and can range anywhere from £0 to £250 dependent on household income. However, a generous bursary scheme ensures that the cost will not prevent anyone from taking part — if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend. Depending on your financial circumstances we will fund some or all of the cost, and also have a separate fund that can help with any travel, childcare or other prohibitive costs.

To apply, please click here.

Deadline: Monday 11th July, 2PM.

We will provide updates throughout the application process should Government COVID-19 guidelines change. COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to, and we will continually assess the safest and most appropriate way of conducting the course.

Residential Logos

How do I apply?

To apply for this course, please click here.

Deadline: Monday 11th July, 2PM.

What is involved?

By taking part in the BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course 2022, you will:

  • Explore all aspects of film exhibition whilst working alongside well-known industry professionals.
  • Gain a real insight into the exciting world of cinema, providing you with skills and experience that are essential to becoming part of our future film industry.
  • Watch a range of cinema and work with well known film critics, festivals, film makers and those working within the industry such as BIFA, We Are Parable, Sheffield Doc/Fest and more
  • Work in teams to build your dream film festival over the four week programme. All teams will have the opportunity to programme their own films as part of an in person festival at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.
  • Become part of the BFI Film Academy Alumni and access exclusive opportunities, advice and professional development after the course has finished.

Who can apply?

To apply for the BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course 2022 you must:

  • Be 16-19 year old on the first day of the course.
  • Have an interest in the film industry.
  • Be able to commit to the duration of the course.

2022 course dates

The course takes place between 27th July and 27th August 2022 on the following dates.

27th July - 31st July - In-person

6th August - Online

13th August - Online

20th August - Online

27th August - Online

There will also be optional drop-in development sessions on Wednesday evenings throughout August. The film festival to showcase the learners work will be taking place in person, at the Showroom Cinema at a later date. Click here to take a look at the festival from last year.

The Speakers - More Speakers TBC

Danny Leigh

Danny Leigh - Film Critic

Danny Leigh is the Chief Film Writer at the Financial Times. Previously, he was the senior curator of fiction in the BFI National Archive from 2017 to 2019. He has worked in film journalism more than 20 years.

BFI - Little White Lies

Hannah Strong - Little White Lies

Hannah Strong is the Digital Editor of Little White Lies magazine. Born and raised in Sheffield, she attended The University of Leeds, and has written for publications including GQ, Vulture, The Guardian and Dazed & Confused magazine. Her first book, Sofia Coppola: Forever Young is released May 28th by Abrams New York.

Bryony Forde

Bryony Forde - Altitude Films

After graduating from the University of Sheffield Bryony stayed in the city working for the organisation now known as Cinema For All. She then made the move to London and distribution, talking to cinemas on behalf of independent distributors Icon (It Follows, The Nice Guys), STX (Wind River, I Feel Pretty) and since 2019 she has been Theatrical Sales Director at Altitude working on titles including Horrible Histories, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, Rocks and Minari.

Flo Cartwright

Flo Cartwright - British Independent Film Awards

Flo Cartwright has over 8 years experience in events, fundraising and membership management, having worked for organisations including SOAS, University of London and One World Media. She has also worked on set providing production support to both short and feature films.

Flo is currently the Awards and Marketing Manager at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). Her current role helps to support and celebrate the best new British independent film releases.

Anthony Andrews

Anthony Andrews - We Are Parable

Anthony Andrews is an award winning co-founder and creative director of We Are Parable, a film exhibition company that provide audiences with opportunities to experience Black Cinema in culturally relevant and unique ways.

Anthony has collaborated with film studios such as Altitude, StudioCanal and eOne as well as working closely with the BFI and the Film and TV Charity to create events and screenings that support films that feature and are made by Black People.

Since co-founding the business in 2013, he has worked with Oscar winners Spike Lee and Steve McQueen, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and and actor/filmmaker Idris Elba on the release of their respective films.

In 2020, Anthony co-curated Who We Are, a week long online takeover of the BFI which celebrated the artistry of Black British Film over the last 50 years.


Jaq Chell - Cinema For All

Jaq Chell has been with Cinema For All for over 12 years, having previously worked at the Showroom Cinema and Sensoria Film and Music Festival. She is responsible for the overall programme of Cinema For All, including special events, including the Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards. She regularly speaks at nation-wide events on the importance of community-led film, and is passionate about bringing inclusive cinema experiences to all corners of the UK.

Mita Suri

Mita Suri - Sheffield Doc/Fest

With a background in community cinema exhibition, Mita Suri started working in DocFest as a volunteer, then supported the DocCircuit tour as a Distribution Trainee, moving on to be the Film Programme Coordinator and now the Film Programme Producer, supervising the delivery of the Film Programme for the festival. She is primarily responsible for the external contacts including filmmakers, national film institutes and distributors, managing the submissions processme and coordinating Doc/Fest's year-round activity outside of the festival. Mita's previous work experience has been in health services' management, youth leadership initiatives and as support teaching staff in schools within the UK and abroad. Mita is a programmer for the Northern Focus film strand.

Alex Crawford

Alex Crawford - Odeon Cinema

Alex has worked in the exhibition industry for what is now the world’s largest cinema company for more than 20 years, and has worked in the cinema and the film booking department in numerous roles, including Film Booking Director for the UK and Ireland before moving to his current role as the Head of Film Insight for the UK, Ireland and Group.

Rob Speranza

Rob Speranza - Film Producer/Film Programmer

Rob Speranza is a film producer and line producer from Brooklyn, New York, based in Sheffield. Rob runs the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network in Sheffield, supporting filmmakers in the region for over 18 years. He’s produced 16 short films and seven feature films, including Arthur and Merlin, Entity, and Inbred. He has enjoyed screenings at hundreds of festivals globally and has won over 75 awards for his work. Rob has been a drama programmer for the BAFTA-qualifying Aesthetica Film Festival since 2014 and is also on the Grand Jury for the Bolton Film Festival and is a programmer and supporter of the Spirit of Independence Film Festival in Sheffield. He holds an MA and PhD from the University of Sheffield for his work around film and poetry.


Clair Maleney - Film Producer (Tyke Films)

Clair Maleney is a documentary filmmaker, anthropologist, and creative non-fiction writer who is interested in examining systemic structures and ideas through the lens of personal stories. Her work is informed by her studies of International Relations and Cultural Anthropology.

Since 2018 she has focused on grassroots film: teaching community film courses and collaborating with groups, academics, NGOs, and universities, making films on topics ranging from the climate crisis and Brexit, to race and injustice. Her practice focuses on the place of activism and ethics within documentary and centres participatory and co-creation filmmaking practices.

BFI Film Academy Graduates


bfi z

Taking 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.



The 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 4

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.

We use cookies to help us provide you with a better service, but do not track anything that can be used to personally identify you. If you prefer us not to set these cookies, please visit our Cookie Settings page or continue browsing our site to accept them. Close