BFI Specialist Residential: Programming 2018


We are searching the UK for 30 talented, enthusiastic and hard-working 16-19 year olds to take part in this year's BFI Specialist Residential at Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. The course runs from Sunday 22 July 2018 until Saturday 28 July 2018.

This intensive week-long residential will give participants a real insight into the exciting world of cinema, equipping them with skills and experience that are essential to becoming part of our future film industry.

Participants will be immersed in all aspects of programming and audience development. They will watch a diverse programme of films and meet fellow film enthusiasts and industry professionals from across the UK. They will also explore areas such as festivalsfilm writing, and film marketing for commercial and independent cinema.

On the course, participants will work together to design and plan their own film season with the winning season/s being programmed here at Showroom Cinema. Last year our students worked together to create a film season called Shifting Focus, this was screened at the Showroom Cinema. Click here for more information about Shifting Focus and the other film seasons that have been brought to life through the BFI Academy.

As well as this, there will be lots of exciting opportunities after completion of the Residential. Participants will become part of the BFI Film Academy Alumni and are offered exclusive opportunities, such as attending the ‘This Way Up’ conference in the City of Culture. 

Course Leader: Meabh O'Donovan
Course Coordinator: Sam Barnett

Sound like the opportunity of a lifetime?

The BFI Specialist Residential is open to young people from anywhere in the UK, from any background.

In order to apply, you must:

  • be aged 16-19 years old on the first day of the course
  • not be attending university at the time of the course (if you're starting in September then that's OK)
  • have a passion or talent for film and an ambition to work in the film industry
  • be able to commit to the duration of the course

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.

Please note: If you have previously attended a BFI residential course, you are unfortunately ineligible to apply for the BFI Residential, but any participation in non-residential BFI network academies is fine.

Course Fee

We welcome applications from talented young film enthusiasts from all backgrounds. The Course Fee ranges from £0 to £210, which includes your accommodation and food for the duration of the residential.

Due to generous support from the Department for Education in England, Creative Scotland, Lottery funding and Northern Ireland Screen we are able to heavily subsidise the cost of fees. The true cost of providing these courses is £1,500, but the maximum you will be asked to pay is £210 if you fall into the highest income bracket. Depending on your financial circumstances we will subsidise some of the Course Fee or all of it.

Please don’t let the cost of the residential courses deter you from applying. If a young person is offered a place on the Film Academy and can't afford the Course Fee or other associated costs, our bursary scheme can help them - if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend. For more information please download the FAQs here or email

So you want to apply?

Download the application pack here:
Application Pack

Please note - the bursary application form in the Application Pack is not for a subsidised course fee, only to cover costs such as travel and childcare costs. We will gather financial information in relation to the course fee upon offer of place.

To apply, submit your application via email to:

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

Deadline for application: Wednesday 20 June 2018 (midday)

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