Sixty-six of the UK’s most promising young filmmakers gathered at the BFI IMAX in London today to see their new short films premiere on Britain’s biggest screen, as they graduated from the BFI Film Academy. Aged 16-19 years, the students spent the previous two weeks in residence at the National Film and Television School (NFTS), learning the craft of filmmaking and getting to grips with professional equipment in both the NFTS’s film studios and out on location.
Now in its second year, the Film Academy programme aims to hothouse budding talent from around the UK. Participants choose to specialise in directing, producing, production design, editing, cinematography or sound recording. They are then teamed into production crews to make their own short film, with the aid of expert tuition and masterclasses from industry professionals. Guests speaker during the residency included comedian Lenny Henry, actor David Morrissey (Walking Dead, State of Play), directors Mike Newell (Harry Potter films, Four Weddings and Funeral) and Destiny Ekaragha (Gone Too Far), producer Brian Tufano (Trainspotting, Billy Elliot), and visual effects supervisor Tim Webber (Gravity, The Dark Knight, Avatar). This year’s training also included a trip to Andy Serkis’s performance capture facility, The Imaginarium Studios.
Amanda Nevill, the BFI’s CEO, says: “Giving the next generation of filmmakers from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn and practise filmmaking skills is a priority for the BFI in ensuring the UK film industry continues to thrive culturally and economically, achieving even greater success for the UK’s creative industries and the economy as a whole.”
“The quality of films we have seen today is fantastic,” she continues, “and highlights the diversity of up and coming talent in the UK. Our congratulations go to them and to the NFTS, and we look forward to seeing their future films.”
Nik Powell, Director of the NFTS, adds: “The scheme has really stepped up this year by enabling the participants to write as well as shoot their films. It is exciting to have younger voices coming through who could become the UK’s film talent of tomorrow.”
The BFI Film Academy is the result of a unique partnership with the Department for Education in England, which has provided £3m funding for the programme over three years, and forms a key part of the BFI’s ambitious plans to revolutionise film education for 5-19 year olds across the UK over the next five years.
Providing opportunities for talented and committed young people to develop new skills and build a career in the film industry, no matter where they live or what their background, is a core aim of the BFI’s Film Forever five year plan to support the future success of UK film and forms the central tenet of the BFI Film Academy programme. Alongside the NFTS, the BFI has worked with 40 regional delivery partners across England for the BFI’s Film Academy Network and with support from BAFTA, Pinewood Studios and Creative Skillset. Following the residential programme, the NFTS gives graduates support in obtaining further training, work placements or jobs in the industry.
The Wonderful World of Work
The complete films will be available to watch soon.
After graduating from the BFI Film Academy, 66 young filmmakers premiere their short films at BFI IMAX.