BFI Academy

BFI Film Academy

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Now in its sixth year, this highly successful, industry focused film programme has mentored over 100 young people towards a career in the film industry.

By studying all aspects of film and having award winning professionals as mentors, successful students have gone on to study,  train and work in the film industry in Northern Ireland and further afield.

BFI Film Academy offers students an opportunity to work in teams to write, produce and direct original short films in an industry focused environment. Students complete masterclasses with guest professionals during the course to enhance their learning and gain an insight into the realities of working in film.

BFI Academy students have previously attended talks with directors Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Cannes Film Festival winner Andrea Arnold (American Honey), Jon Baird (Filth), Damien O’Donnell (East is East, Inside I’m Dancing), Producers Greg Spence (Game of Thrones), Andrew Eaton (Rush, 24 Hour Party People), Ivanna MacKinnion (Slumdog Millionaire), Chris Martin (Good Vibrations), writers Glen Leyburn, Lisa Barros D’Sa (Good Vibrations), writer Frank Cottrel Boyce (Millions, 24 Hour Party People).

Local success stories and experience play a huge part in the BFI Film Academy at the Nerve Centre with masterclasses in directing, cinematography, sound and editing and career progression previously delivered by BAFTA winner Mark McCauley (Children of War), Oscar® nominated writer Dave Duggan (Dance Lexie Dance) , BAFTA winning Sound Designer Eddy Joseph (Casino Royale, Pink Floyd’s The Wall) and BAFTA winning and Oscar® nominated producer Brian Falconer (Boogaloo & Graham) and editor Andrew Tohill  (Road). 

Students that have successfully completed the BFI Film Academy become part the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to Industry events and further training opportunities such as BAFTA Careers Surgery with BAFTA winning professionals in the film industry.

Participants that have completed the BFI Film Academy have gone on to gain work experience on HBO’s Game of Thrones, at the award winning Ardmore Studios, created short films for the BBC True North programme and in short and feature film productions locally since graduating.

Students from BFI Film Academy at the Nerve Centre have also attended BFI Specialist Residentials at the National Film & Television School; London and Liverpool  in Cinematography, Documentary Production, Script Writing and Animation.

Residential courses last between one and two weeks and are designed to develop more specialist filmmaking skills. Students work closely with leading industry professionals who will give you a unique insight into the filmmaking business and guide you along the way.

The deadline to apply for 2018/19 BFI Film Academy is Friday, September 21st at 5pm. Click here to complete an online application form.

BFI Film Academy: Find out about our great scheme for aspiring young filmmakers

"I ganied experience as a Video Assist with Game of Thrones. I learnt vital skills for film making through the BFI and if it wasn’t for completing the programme at the Nerve Centre, I just wouldn’t have had the confidence or skills necessary for such a demanding job".

Eoghan, BFI Film Academy Graduate

"Film has always been my passion but up until finding a BFI Academy at the Nerve Centre, the thought of having a career in the industry was more of a dream than a possible reality. Through getting the chance to work on different film projects with the BFI Film Academy I have completely fallen in love with the art of filmmaking. I also completed a Specialist Residential in Documentary during the BFI Film Academy which was really invaluable.”

Katie, BFI Film Academy Graduate

“A course like this is brilliant for someone like me as it gives you so much more opportunity to really get hands on experience in filmmaking as well as learning through masterclasses. The masterclasses are brilliant as we got to understand the meaning behind choices made in making film as well as hearing an industry professional telling you what the business is actually like rather than a teacher telling you what it could be like”. 

Edward, BFI Film Academy Graduate

“At the BFI Programme in the Nerve Centre, young people have been encouraged in the ownership of their work. The professionalism of the advisers approach means that the young people have gained realistic insights into both the world of work and the making of art. A real strength of the programme is the ways in which young people are encouraged to interact with the wider arts community, producing film-making of the highest quality". 

Accreditation Moderator

“A number of our students have successfully completed the BFI Film Academy course over the past two years. Undoubtedly, the pupils’ participation in the course helped raise their skill level within all the film discipline areas and in the process contributed in raising overall grades and success at both AS and A2 level”.  

MIA Teacher, Holy Cross College

“The BFI Film Academy course has been invaluable to the students whose practical knowledge has significantly improved through participating in the programme. Critical theory skills have also improved in a number of students. Confidence levels have improved with all students”. 

MIA Teacher St. Columb’s College

“One student in particular has advanced immensely from being part of the BFI experience. As well as moving from a B to an A grade, she has been given amazing opportunities that a school based environment could not afford her. She took part in the BFI documentary residential week in London(where she has got herself loads of contacts and a possibility of an internship next year). The BFI academy has been amazing for her development”. 

MIA Teacher, St Marys College