Search launched for next generation UK film talent

The BFI launches a UK-wide search for the next generation of British film industry talent, with nine hundred places for talented and committed 16-19 year olds to join BFI Film Academies – up from just under 500 last year.

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Graduates from last year's Film Academy

Graduates from last year's Film Academy

The BFI today launches the second year of its pioneering Film Academy, giving almost twice as many young people who are passionate about film the opportunity to develop the skills and ambition to forge a career in film, no matter where they live in the UK or whatever their background is. Today’s launch follows a celebration event at the Houses of Parliament yesterday, hosted by Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP and BFI CEO, Amanda Nevill and attended by director Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King’s Speech), actor Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), and Managing Director of Classic FM (UK), Darren Henley who led the Henley Review of Cultural Education in England.

Led by industry experts, BFI Film Academy courses cover every area of the film industry, enabling young people to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality. Now in its second year, the BFI Film Academy is building on previous success to extend its reach across the UK into Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales offering a total of 900 places across all courses – up from just under 500 in 2012. The BFI Film Academy scheme also expands this year to incorporate new residential courses in Animation, Documentary, Screenwriting and VFX.

After a glittering showcase from last year’s graduates at the BFI Southbank in April hosted by BFI Chair, Greg Dyke and National Film and Television School (NFTS) Director, Nik Powell, and attended by film industry figures including Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Bond actress Naomie Harris, the BFI Film Academy is delighted to once again be working with world renowned and multi award-winning NFTS in 2013/14.

The NFTS will deliver an intensive two week residential craft skills course, to be held during the Easter break in 2014 for up to 70 young people, featuring masterclasses from leading film industry figures and offering students practical experience of using high-tech, industry-standard equipment.

Film Academy visit to Pinewood Studios

Film Academy visit to Pinewood Studios

The BFI Film Academy this year offers an exciting new element with the introduction of specialised residential programmes in Animation, Documentary, Screenwriting and VFX, and has appointed five organisations to lead these. The intensive training courses will be held during half-term times for between 5 and 9 days and are aimed at young people who want to develop their skills and expertise in those specific areas. 

And in 2013/14 the BFI is working with 35 diverse partners to offer courses across the nations and regions of the UK. Partners range from film and media training organisations, universities and other experts in the cultural and education sector, and each will deliver courses between October 2013 and March 2014, often held in the evenings or across a series of weekends. 

BFI CEO, Amanda Nevill comments:

The BFI is committed to developing tomorrow’s film audiences and talent and the BFI Film Academy is at the heart of our comprehensive strategy to give young people across the UK opportunities to engage with film. We’re proud that through the BFI Film Academy young people of all backgrounds are given a springboard to a career in film. Following an enormously successful inaugural year in 2012, the Academy is now establishing itself as a gold standard training and development programme with a vision for future growth. This wouldn’t be possible without the backing of the Department for Education and we thank them and all our partners for their continuing support as we this year take the Film Academy to more people than ever across the UK.

The Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of British filmmakers and this year builds on 2012/13’s hugely successful inaugural year, with a total of 900 places available in 2013/14 for 16-19 year olds right across the UK. The academy offers bursaries to help those in need with costs, including travel and childcare, ensuring it is accessible to as diverse a range of young people as possible.   

The BFI Film Academy forms a key part of the BFI’s ambitious plans to revolutionise film education for 5-19 year olds, a core aim of the BFI’s Film Forever five year plan to support the future success of UK film. Its funding partners include the Department for Education in England, which has provided £3m for the programme, with the National Lottery, Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen this year working with the BFI to take the Academy to every nation of the UK. Strategic partners include BAFTA, Pinewood Studios and Creative Skillset, helping to ensure the Academy is a gold standard film industry-focused educational programme.

The BFI Film Academy offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and also provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire an appreciation of film culture in the round. After completing their BFI Film Academy courses, young people progress to a range of opportunities, including apprenticeships and employment in the film sector and further learning through Higher Education.

Last year’s participants benefitted from masterclasses from leading British talent including directors Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, The World’s End), Ken Loach (The Angels’ Share, The Wind That Shakes The Barley), and Asif Kapadia (Senna), actor Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), and Bond production executive, Anthony Waye, and were taken on insider tours of facilities including Pinewood Studios and the BFI National Archive and received masterclasses, career surgeries and one-to-one mentoring support from industry professionals courtesy of BAFTA.

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