Nerve Centre BFI Film Academy Going For National Lottery Glory

Nerve Centre BFI Film Academy Going For National Lottery Glory

Nerve Centre’s BFI Film Academy needs your vote as they campaign for the chance to shine on BBC One in this year’s National Lottery Awards.

They have been plucked from more than 750 entries to go into the public vote to decide the winners of this year’s National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the public’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.  

Winners in each category can look forward to rubbing shoulders with music, sport and TV stars at the National Lottery Awards in September, shown on BBC One, and going home with a £2,000 cash prize.

The BFI Film Academy has made it through to the finals in the Best Education project category. Operating throughout Britain and Northern Ireland and run by the Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry and Armagh, it is a comprehensive training and education initiative that ensures young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to gain the essential skills to enter the film industry.

For the Nerve Centre the programme is about developing the elite talent in local filmmaking, as Director of Education, John Peto, explains: ‘The BFI Academy is a really exciting project – it brings young people who already have some skills and experience in film-making and takes them on to the next level, working with industry professionals and making real connections across the UK. This year alone 32 young people here have benefitted and some of them will certainly end up working in the industry. That is inspirational for young filmmakers here and we are delighted to have delivered the project here. Nomination for the awards is really the icing on the cake for us.’ 

Dr Paul Gerhardt, BFI Director of Education, said: 'We are delighted that the BFI Film Academy has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards. It’s a privilege to support ambitious new talent at this early stage of their careers and watch them succeed in their chosen paths. The National Lottery funding has allowed us to expand our initial programme into Northern Ireland, and our partners in Derry – the Nerve Centre, have done a great job delivering this comprehensive training programme for motivated young people wanting to work in film. 

'We really hope people across the UK will get behind this fantastic initiative and give us their support as we attempt to win a National Lottery Award.'

TV star and actor John Barrowman will be presenting the National Lottery Awards for the fourth time this year:

'Every year I am moved by the exceptional work that the finalists of the National Lottery Awards carry out. They typify everything that is right with society – the volunteering, community spirit and selflessness.  

'I urge everyone to get behind the BFI Film Academy as they aim to get the recognition they so richly deserve. National Lottery players should be proud that the £33 million they raise for charities every single week goes to projects like these.'

Voting runs for four weeks from 9am on Wednesday June 25 until midnight on Wednesday July 23. You can follow the campaign on Twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. 

There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.  

As well as securing their place at the National Lottery Awards show, the project with the highest number of votes in each category will receive a £2,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.

To vote for BFI Film Academy, please go to or telephone 0844 836 9678.

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