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 BFI Film Academy UK Network courses?

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

See our UK Network Programme page to find the course that is in your local area or 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 will have different deadlines for applications.

You will need to ensure that you can make all course dates before applying.

If you have previously enrolled on a Film Academy course you are not able to apply.

If you are currently at university, or will be enrolled at university when the course starts, you are not able to apply.

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

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. 

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

  • Specialist residential courses focus on the complete craft of one specialism – animation, documentary, programming and audience development, screenwriting or visual effects – they take place during spring half term and summer break.
  • Craft Skills residential course focuses on a specific craft skill – scriptwriting, producing, production design, directing, cinematography, sound, editing – and runs during Easter (for those taking part in the scriptwriting course there will also be a workshop in December).
  • There is a summer Craft Skills residential course which takes place in Scotland during summer break.

If you have previously enrolled on a Film Academy residential course you are not able to apply.

If you are currently at university, or will be enrolled at university when the course starts, you are not able to apply.

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.
  • 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.

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.

Will I gain a qualification if I enroll on a Film Academy course?

If you enroll on a UK Network course you will be completing either Preparing to Work in the Film Industry or an Arts Award as part of this.

The Preparing to Work in the Film Industry qualification will help to develop young people’s interest, passion and skills to help them in their potential careers across the film industry. This qualification has been driven by the needs of industry and education partners.

The Arts Award is a framework developed by Arts Council England to help young people learn new skills and share them. 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 are interested in pursuing a career in film.

How much does the Film Academy cost?

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

Residentials: The fee ranges from £0 to £210 for the Specialist Residentials and £0 to £420 for the Craft Skills course (depending on your financial circumstances), payable on acceptance. Fees include accommodation and food but exclude transportation costs to and from the course.

A bursary scheme ensures that costs will not prevent any filmmaker from taking part – if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend!

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

Course fees can be waived for those who cannot pay the fee.

In addition, bursaries are available for the purpose of removing specific barriers to participation, such as travel costs reimbursements. You will be asked if you wish to apply for a fee waiver or bursary 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. If you are 15, please look back next year for opportunities. If you are over 19, visit creativeskillset.org. Some of our Film Academy delivery partners across the UK do other courses as well.

Can I apply for a place on the residential BFI Film Academy in Craft Skills 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.

BFI Film Academy Residential in Craft Skills

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 that you have made or to which you have contributed.
  • 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.

If you have previously enrolled on a Film Academy residential course, you are not able to apply.

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.

My question has not been answered here. How do I contact you?

Contact us at filmacademy@bfi.org.uk.

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