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Nerve Centre’s BFI Film Academy Short Film Development Lab now open for applications

6 Jul 2021

Nerve Centre is looking for 12 young filmmakers from across Northern Ireland aged 17-25 as part of their BFI Film Academy Short Film Development Lab.

Nerve Centre is looking for 12 young filmmakers from across Northern Ireland aged 17-25 as part of their BFI Film Academy Short Film Development Lab. Short film scripts selected by an Industry panel will receive £1,000 in funding as part of the programme.

This online development and screenwriting intensive takes place 26–31 July, 10am–4pm daily and is delivered by the Nerve Centre BFI Film Academy programme supported by Fighting Words NI.

The Short Film Development Lab is the first in a series of new initiatives to be delivered as part of the BFI Film Academy using National Lottery funding and led in Northern Ireland by the Nerve Centre in partnership with Film Hub NI and Queens Film Theatre.

BFI Film Academy Labs are events for young filmmakers to gain industry insight, get professional advice and support to develop their own filmmaking practices. They are delivered as practical masterclasses, workshops, and networking sessions.

The Short Film Development Lab will support creative teams of writers, directors and producers to devise and develop a short film screenplay to be pitched for production.

Over the six-day intensive, participants will attend group masterclass sessions with key industry professionals, whilst working in the writers’ room in smaller creative teams, mentored to create short film scripts, treatments and to pitch for funding.

Winning pitches will each receive £1,000 in funding to produce their short film and premiere as part of the 2021 Foyle Film Festival in November. Participants will be mentored by a range of Industry leaders in screenwriting, film and television production throughout the development process.

Leading names in the screen industries taking part in the programme include Hat Trick Development producer Louise Gallagher (A Bump Along the Way) and Brendan Mullin (Boys from County Hell, Bad Day for the Cut). Northern Ireland Screen Talent Development executives will provide information and insight into their short film development schemes during the week.

The programme will support young creative talent aged 17-25 who are preparing to become part of the screen industries through the provision of a skills-based development programme in the business of film; from development through to production to exhibition, alongside a diverse cultural cinema offer led by QFT and Film Hub NI, part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).

The BFI Film Academy Short Film Development Lab builds on the work of the Nerve Centre in their highly successful delivery of BFI Film Academies across Northern Ireland over the past 9 years.

The Nerve Centre particularly welcomes applications from underrepresented groups and intersectionality across ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstances.

Deadline for applications is Monday 19 July at 5pm. Interviews will take place on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 July. 

Candidates must be available for all dates of the programme Monday 26–Saturday 31 July, 10am to 4pm. Candidates must be aged between 17-25 years on the first day of the programme and demonstrate previous experience in film production and/or experience in screenwriting, directing and producing.

Interested candidates can apply here.