Break into film at the Showroom Cinema

The Showroom Cinema offers young people the opportunity to learn about filmmaking, programming, marketing and distribution through a number of projects funded through the British Film Institute and The Department of Education.

Take a look below and sign up to one of our upcoming opportunities. Many of our young people have gone to work in the film industry at places such as Warner Brothers, Sheffield DocFest and many more.

For any questions or enquiries please contact the team at [email protected].

This activity is part of the UK-wide BFI Film Academy programme and is supported using funds from the National Lottery and the Department for Education. #NationalLottery @bfifilmacademy

BFIFALOGO4567Residential Logo 2022

Film Academy Specialist Programming Residential (16-19 Years Old) - Applications Open

This course is part of BFI Film Academy, a national talent programme supported by the Department for Education and the National Lottery.

The BFI Film Academy Specialist Programming Course 2024 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.

Showroom Cinema Young Programmers Group (16-25 Years Old) - applications are now closed.

Please note: the deadline to apply to be a part of our Young Programmers group has now passed. If you are aged 16-19 years old and interested in Cinema Programming, please keep an eye on our social media to find out when we are next recruiting for the BFI Film Academy Cinema Programming Residential.

We are looking to recruit a number of Young Programmers to meet once a month and assist us with the curation of our film programme at Showroom Cinema.

Our Young Programmers will:

  • host takeover screenings to exhibit films of their choice at Showroom Cinema
  • curate talks and events around their selected films, and budget for these accordingly
  • receive free tickets to the Showroom Cinema and get a free +1 each week
  • take part in low-budget filmmaking workshops
  • have exclusive access to new releases
  • assist with the marketing and distribution of new films
  • help increase engagement among our young audiences (CINE 26 - ages 15 to 26)
  • develop a diverse cinema programme which is representative of the world we live in
  • help to run the BFI Film Academy Young Programmers Film Festival at Showroom Cinema in February

Showroom Young Programmers will meet once a month on Mondays from 5.30 - 7pm at Showroom Cinema in Sheffield city centre. We will focus on programming indie films, particularly British ones, world cinema, cult cinema and classic cinema in line with Showroom’s audience. Find out more about our Showroom Young Programmers.

BFI Film Academy 2023/24 - Applications for the BFI Film Academy are now closed.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this course are now closed.

We are excited to announce that we will be delivering the BFI Film Academy programme for 2023/24!

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 Thursday 9th November until Saturday 3rd 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 writer/director Thomas Hardiman (Medusa Deluxe), writer Paul Fraser (Dead Man's Shoes, A Room For Romeo Brass) and actress & writer Sally Cancello (Fargate).

Course Leader: Sam Barnett - [email protected]

Course Coordinator: Nora Murphy - [email protected]

BFI Short Filmmaking Development Opportunity

Aged 18 to 25 and interested in filmmaking? We are offering filmmakers the opportunity to apply for £2,000 in funding to go and make a short film, with the support of an industry professional Producer and Development Executives.

Part of BFI Film Academy’s Break Into Film. HOME are heading this incredible film fund opportunity with the support of The Showroom and Film Hub North.

This 5 month long project is open to filmmakers who are living and based in the North of England. This is a group project and we ask that each application has 3 to 5 members involved. It is open to 18 to 25 year olds and students can also apply.

We aim to offer financial support of £2,000 and industry professional support in developing a 5 to 10 minute film, and guiding each group to enhance their skills and develop in their filmmaking careers.

The process will start with post-production, including a session with Talent Executives on Script Development and another session with your groups assigned Producer on Coordinating Productions and Budgeting. There will be a 2 to 3 day shoot, followed by a month to edit the footage and finalize the sound. Each film will then be showcased in some of the North’s most established Independent venues and submitted to some of the UK’s most renowned festivals!

What we want from you:

  • A rough draft and a small treatment (Each film has to be between 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Supporting Material = Feel reels, mood boards etc. (Anything to set the tone and feel of the film)
  • Location ideas (Names/addresses of locations)
  • Links to examples of previous work
  • 3 to 5 participants in each group
  • Each group to attend both sessions with Talent Executives and Producer

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday 2nd of November, 13:00.

To find out about future opportunities for training and development in film, keep an eye on this page and follow our social channels for updates.

BFI Film Academy Graduates



Taking part in the BFI Film Academy Short Course 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.

T 1


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 filmmaking short 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.

Esme BFI


During my time on the BFI Programming Residential I learnt so much about film programming, marketing, and cinemas that I did not know before, and probably wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for this course. Since finishing, I have gone on to complete the BFI’s filmmaking Short Course in Sheffield, and worked as a cinematographer on a student film.



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.



What I enjoyed about the Cinema Programming Residential was meeting like-minded people with a keen interest in film and having a project over the coming months putting together an event that we could be proud of when the time came. It also gave me an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone by helping present the screening in front of a large audience. Furthermore, it taught me key skills in putting together an event and led to further opportunities like being a part of the Showroom Young Programmers which I thoroughly enjoy where I put on more screenings and contribute to the blog. So, all in all, I would highly recommend taking this chance.

You can read the blog post I wrote about the Young Programmers festival put on by students of the Residential here.



The programming course and residential stay was an amazing opportunity. I had never travelled outside of London and was worried about travelling to Sheffield alone and staying with people I had never met before. As soon as I stepped foot in Sheffield I learnt that I had nothing to worry about! Everyone was so friendly and willing to talk that you would think you had been friends for a long time!

The course enabled me to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people and gain invaluable film knowledge. I enjoyed the accommodation and amazing food whilst also spending time with everyone on the course. I am currently studying A levels in essay based subjects. I have been accepted onto a 30 month university level film course with Ghetto Film School London which I am very excited to start this summer!

The programming course gave me extensive film knowledge that I will be able to apply in the future but also invaluable life experience by meeting new people from different backgrounds and developing independence. It was amazing to see the hard-work we had done in summer come to life in each festival. I would definitely recommend this course and encourage students to apply and not be put off by cost (there are bursaries) or how much experience they already have!



Attending the BFI Academy Residential was a great experience for a multitude of different reasons! Being from North Devon and with no connections into the industry, I doubted my ability to ever pursue a career in film and TV. This course offered me the opportunity to visit a new city; attend masterclasses with industry professionals; explore new cinema (independent and short films); meet and network with talented young creators; and collaborate to programme our own film festival. This course offers an insight into an essential side of the industry, making me a stronger filmmaker.

From this course, I have been able to keep in contact with other aspiring filmmakers and hear about upcoming opportunities through the BFI Alumni newsletter. Since concluding the residential I have been working as Production Management Apprentice at BBC Studios, worked on Eurovision (2023) and worked on short films (including NFTS productions).



The BFI Film Academy has been one of my most treasured experiences and I’m incredibly thankful for everything it has taught me and all of the people I have met because of it. I have learnt so much about working with new and bigger groups of people, entering the industry and it has really changed my perspective of the path I want to take with my career. It has been so much fun and such a rich, fulfilling learning experience that I will carry with me into my future. I am incredibly proud of everyone on the course for working so hard.

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