BFI Academy 2018 2

BFI Film Academy Now Open for Recruitment

2 Jul 2018

Are you 16-19? Studying Moving Image Arts? Passionate about film? Want a career in the film industry? If so, the BFI Film Academy at the Nerve Centre is for you!

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, BFI Film Academy graduates have gone on to study, train and work in the film industry in Northern Ireland and further afield.

As a student of the Film Academy:

  • You will get hands-on filmmaking experience which will help you to develop practical knowledge and skills.
  • You can explore your own creativity and passions in a supportive and dynamic environment.
  • You will gain invaluable experience working alongside industry professionals who are respected practitioners in their field.
  • You will watch a range of cinema from British independent to specialised films.
  • You will work in teams towards a practical film-based project.

What’s more, you could also apply for one of our seven intensive residential programmes. Courses last between one and two weeks and are designed to develop more specialist filmmaking skills. You will work closely with leading industry professionals who will give you a unique insight into the filmmaking business and guide you along the way.

Once you have completed the Network course, you will become part of the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to opportunities such as BAFTA Careers Surgery with BAFTA winning professionals in the film industry You will also have the opportunity to complete a qualification on the course.

Courses cost £25. If you are unable to pay the full course fee, don’t let this discourage you from applying as costs may be waived. Bursaries for travel and childcare are also available if you require assistance with these costs.

In order to apply for any BFI Film Academy course, you must:

  • Be aged 16-19 year olds on the first day of the course.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Have a passion or talent for filmmaking and an ambition to work in the film industry.
  • Be able to commit to the duration of the course.
  • Not currently be at university or enrolled at university when the course starts.

Take a look at some of the great short films made by previous participants at the BFI Film Academy on YouTube.

BFI Film Academy: Shorts by Young Filmmakers

BFI Academy students at the Nerve Centre have previously attended talks with directors Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), Cannes Film Festival winner Andrea Arnold (American Honey), Juanita Wilson (Tomato Red, The Door) 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), James Flynn (Vikings, Penny Dreadful, Love/Hate), Ivanna MacKinnion (Slumdog Millionaire), Chris Martin (Good Vibrations), writers Glen Leyburn, Lisa Barros D’Sa (Good Vibrations) and 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), BAFTA winning and Oscar® nominated producer Brian Falconer (Boogaloo & Graham) and editor Andrew Tohill (The DigRoad).

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.

Apply Now!

Applications open on Thursday June 28 and closing date for registration is 5.00pm on Friday September 21 2018. Candidates will be required to attend a short interview as part of the application process. Candidates must be available on specified dates between Saturday September 22 2018 and Saturday February 9 2019.

Click here to download an application form

The cost to participate in the BFI Film Academy is £25 which is refundable upon successful completion of the course and qualification. Bursaries could also be made available if you require assistance with travel, child care or other costs.

For further information on BFI Film Academy contact programme coordinator Eavan King at the Nerve Centre on 028 71260562 or e-mail:

What people say about the BFI Film Academy

'I gained 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.'

Moving Image Arts 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.'

Moving Image Arts 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.'

Moving Image Arts Teacher,​ St Mary's College