BFI Film Academy FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the BFI Film Academy and how to apply.

BFI Film Academy

How can I apply for the UK Network BFI Film Academy courses?

Each course has its own application process and you will need to apply directly to the partner organisation running the course.

See our UK Network Programme to find the course that is closest to you.

Get in touch with the contact there and find out how to apply. The starting date for each course varies and you there will have different deadlines for applications.

How can I apply for the BFI Film Academy residential courses?

There are two types of residential courses. As the courses are residential courses, applications are open to 16-19 year olds from anywhere in the UK.

  • Residential courses focusing on the complete craft of one specialism – animation, documentary, screenwriting or visual effects (ADSV) – during spring half term. (Strand 2.)

BFI Film Academy residential programme – ADSV

Each course has its own application process and you will need to apply directly to the partner organisation running the course. Get in touch with the contact there and find out how to apply.

  • A Residential Programme covering all Craft Skills running over two weeks during Easter school holidays in 2014 (Strand 3).

How can I apply for the Residential BFI Film Academy in Craft Skills (Strand 3)?

This residential course is being run by the National Film and Television School (NFTS). The application form can be accessed and downloaded by visiting To complete your application, you must fill out and return the form. You will be asked to say which craft skills you’re most interested in.

The deadline for applications in screenwriting is 4 November 2013 and for other craft specialisms is 3 February 2014. (Candidates for Screenwriting have an earlier application deadline because they will be writing the scripts for the short films).

Who is eligible to apply to BFI Film Academy courses?

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

  • Be aged 16-19 years old on the first day of the course.
  • 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.

As each course is likely to have more people apply than available places, any evidence you have of your passion or talent will help your application. Every course is open to young people from anywhere in the UK and from any background.

Can I apply if I have a disability?

If you are disabled and are concerned about how this might affect you taking part, please contact the partner organisation delivering the course to see what help might be available to make the course accessible to you.

What is the Arts Award?

The Arts Award is a framework for developed by Arts Council England to help young people learn new skills and share them. It is offered at five levels, four accredited and one introductory award. The Film Academy is using Explore (specifically for participants with disabilities), Bronze and Silver. Employers, universities and colleges know that Arts Award is a qualification that shows young people’s level of commitment and progress in the arts, and in developing new skills.

Do I have to be at or have attended a film school or training?

No academic education or degree is necessary to be selected for BFI Film Academy courses. People with different backgrounds are welcome, as long as they have started and are committed to pursuing a career in film.

What if I cannot afford the fee or travel costs for any of the courses?

Bursaries are available for the purpose of removing specific barriers to participation. You will be asked if you wish to apply on acceptance of a place. If you are the right person for the course we will make sure you get help to attend.

What if I am under 16 or over 19 – are there exceptions to the age range?

No. You must be within that age range to apply for this specific scheme. The Film Academy will be running course until 2015, so if you are 15, then please look back next year for opportunities. If you are over 19, visit Some of our Film Academy partner organisations across the UK do other courses as well.

Can I apply for a place on the residential BFI Film Academy in Craft Skills (Strand 3) if I have not been on a UK Network course?

Yes. There are a certain amount of places reserved on the Residential Craft Skills programme for people who did not attend the UK network programme. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria you may apply.

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BFI Film Academy in Craft Skills delivered by NFTS

Who is eligible to apply for the Residential in Craft Skills?

To apply for this opportunity you should:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 19 on the first day of the academy programme. You must be a UK resident and able to commit to the programme for its duration.
  • Have a passion or talent for filmmaking.
  • Have evidence of this talent either in scripts/treatments or online material, such as videos which you have made or to which you have contributed.
  • Be free on 15/16 March and from 6–17 April (and 14/15 December if applying for screenwriting).
  • Be committed to a career in the film industry.
  • Have a teacher, regional film officer or industry professional who knows your work and is prepared to write a supporting reference.

Can I still attend if I can’t make the introductory weekend?

Unfortunately you will need to be able to commit to all the dates for the Residential Craft Skills course to be considered eligible. The introductory weekend is particularly important as you will meet everyone else on the course and form the teams you will be working closely with throughout the two weeks in April. If you are on a network Film Academy course that is taking place that same weekend we will make arrangements with your course tutors so that you can come on the weekend.

How to I get there?

Participants will need to make travel arrangements to get to the NFTS. Chaperones will be there to meet participants off the train to bring them to the school.

The NFTS is about 25 miles west of London in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, just off the M40. The address is Beaconsfield Studios, Station Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks HP9 1LG.

Can I go home during the residential if I live close by?

No. Accommodation for the duration of the residential course will be provided. Participants will stay overnight at the Lane End conference centre. Each person will have their own single bedroom and facilities and meals will all be provided. If you become seriously ill or unable to stay on the campus arrangements will be made by the chaperones for you to return home.

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