Applications have now closed for 2023-2024.
Since 2012, BFI Film Academy short and specialist residential courses have provided opportunities for talented and committed young people between the ages of 16-19 to develop new skills and build careers in the screen industry, regardless of their background or where they live. BFI Film Academy courses are led by industry experts and cover every area of the industry, enabling young people to develop crucial commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to make those first steps. Our aim is to find talent with a passion for the screen industry all across the UK to ensure that the opportunity is available to all.
The Film Academy has provided “hands-on” technical film experience centred around a collaborative experience of filmmaking. It therefore has strong outcomes on soft skill development which reflects the needs of the sector. The experience of working in a team to develop a creative output differs from much educational activity (such as preparing coursework or for exams) and engages and inspires participants. The Film Academy’s impact on participants extends beyond the course, with nearly 90% of participants citing the influence of Film Academy on their future careers, with the vast majority aiming to pursue a career in film.
The BFI Film Academy funding comprises Department for Education in England, National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen funding, with up to £940,000 allocated for 2023-24 to deliver the BFI Film Academy Short Courses.
All activity funded through BFI Film Academy Courses should deliver against the following outcomes of the BFI National Lottery strategy:
- children and young people are empowered to develop their own relationships with a wider range of screen culture, including through education
- more people understand how to express their creativity through stories on screen, including children and young people
- creative talent is supported and nurtured, as they emerge and throughout their careers
- equitable and more visible routes into the sector for people of all ages
- people from under-represented groups across the UK can access the support they need to develop their careers and skills
In addition, all National Lottery awards must deliver against our three principles for National Lottery funding:
- equity, diversity and inclusion
- environmental sustainability
Key Performance Indicators
The BFI will measure the success of the Fund using the following Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- Funded activity outside of London and the South East of London: 75%
- Total in-person engagements for:
- short courses: 940 people across 47 courses
- specialist courses: 251 people across 7 courses
- Accessible screening of film academy films (eg. subtitled, audio described): Each film has at least 1 accessibility feature as part of the screening
- Film Academy films available online: 100%
- Awardees have calculated a carbon footprint using designated tool within a 12 month period:100%
- Year 1 - baseline carbon footprint data is established for 100% of awards
We champion everyday inclusion at the BFI. A clearly defined and communicated set of Inclusion Targets gives us, our partners and the wider industry ambitious goals for a more diverse screen sector and representative audiences. The activity of this Fund as a whole will contribute towards achieving the BFI’s Inclusion Targets, and all applicants to this open call should draft their own proposed KPIs to align with these, which are:
- Disability (including those identifying as D/deaf or neurodiverse and those with a longstanding physical or mental diagnosis): 18%
- Ethnically diverse (London): 40%
- Ethnically diverse (outside London): 30%
- Gender (50-50 balance of male and female identifying within the gender binary): 50%
- Working class background: 39%
- Low income backgrounds measured by entitlement to Free School Meals: 15% (Department of Education target for 2023/24)
BFI Diversity Standards
All of the activity supported by our funding is informed by the BFI Diversity Standards. You will need to demonstrate how your proposal meaningfully tackles under-representation in relation to disability, gender, race, age, sexual orientation and socio-economic status, while also considering the interactions of these identities and any other barriers to opportunity. If successful, you will need to report following the conclusion of your activity, evaluating how you have delivered against the aims of the Diversity Standards in practice.
The BFI funds activity throughout the UK. This includes national, regional, and local provision to ensure that communities throughout the UK feel the benefit of the screen industries and culture. You’ll need to tell us where your proposed activity will be delivered and how this will support the BFI’s UK-wide principle.
You’ll need to tell us how you will embed the principle of environmental sustainability throughout your funded activity. This includes describing what you’re doing to reduce your negative impact (such as reducing carbon emissions or minimising single-use plastic) as well as what you’re doing to increase your positive impact. You should consider the following elements of their work in answering this section:
- Venue - do you take environmental criteria into venue choice e.g. do they have an organisational environmental policy or any environmental awards or certifications? Are they conveniently located for public transport? What environmental measures do they have in place e.g. green energy, waste prevention and recycling measures, water refill stations?
- Staff and course participants’ travel – how do you plan to encourage the use of low or zero carbon travel?
- Catering – does your catering offer a significant proportion of plant-based options, locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients, with minimal use of single use disposable serveware?
- Procurement and suppliers – Tell us about how you avoid waste and source recycled, recyclable or reusable materials
You will be required to deliver your project in a way that meets the stated objectives for the programme and the three cross-cutting principles for the BFI National Lottery Funding Plan 2023-2026. With regard to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability you will be required to work with the BFI or its appointed partners to finalise your planned activity, draw on specialist resources or expertise where the BFI can provide this or signpost you to it, and monitor the impact of your project in these areas.
You should be able to deliver stimulating and exciting filmmaking courses with structured outcomes as part of the Short Course Programme, which will allow young people aged 16-19 to develop knowledge and skills that are relevant to both the commercial and cultural film sectors.
Your organisation must be a legally constituted organisation centrally managed in the UK. This includes:
- Limited Liability Company or Partnership registered at Companies House
- Community Interest Company registered at Companies House
- Combined or local authority or statutory body
- Charity or trust registered with the Charity Commission (including UK universities and colleges)
In addition, your organisation must:
- be an existing film and/or education organisation
- have direct links to film industry experts
- have experience and expertise in film education and/or training with 16-19 year olds
- have experience and expertise in recruiting and working with participants from a diverse range of backgrounds
- have the infrastructure and human resource capacity to host the proposed course
- have DBS checked staff and be able to provide documentary evidence for DBS disclosure (DBS checks must have been carried out or renewed within the last two years)
- have a current safeguarding policy
You cannot apply as an individual or unincorporated organisation.
You can apply for an award of up to £20,000 per course.
You will be required to deliver a short course for up to 20 young people aged 16-19 in your area to develop new skills and build a career in the film industry. The course must be led by industry experts and cover every area of filmmaking and enable young people to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to make their first steps. The course must provide “hands-on” technical experience centred around collaborative filmmaking.
The course must provide participants the opportunity to plan, deliver and review a practical film-based project, either individually or as part of a team, which must be showcased at the end of the course.
Arts Award should be delivered at a Silver level and Preparing to Work in the Film Industry as an extended award where possible.
We expect 70% of participants on the courses to achieve either accreditation.
Silver Arts award qualification
The Silver Arts Award qualification is a Level 2 qualification that gives young people the chance to take on an artistic challenge and a leadership role.
There are two strands to the Silver Arts Award:
- Unit 1: Arts practice and pathways, which includes film reviewing and career research
- Unit 2: Arts leadership, which involves arts project planning and reviewing leadership abilities
If you believe it would be more appropriate to deliver the Bronze Arts Award on your course, you will need to provide additional reasoning to justify this.
NFCE ‘Preparing to Work in the Film Industry’ qualification
The NCFE ‘Preparing to Work in the Film Industry’ is a Level 2 qualification that will develop young people’s interest, passion and skills to help them in their potential careers across the film industry. The role of film academies is to be an assessor for the qualification, and will plan the delivery overview for participants.
- develop technical skills
- understand professional development opportunities
- develop effective working relationships understand working practices and legislation in the film industry and review films.
This qualification is developed through participants building portfolios and documenting their time on the film academy course.
Your course should include the following elements:
- a minimum of 40 hours of training to each participant that begins after September 2023 and finishes before 11th February 2024
- specific sessions that:
- address the BFI Film Academy Core Educational Outcomes
- give participants the opportunity to watch British Independent and specialised cinema to enable participants to construct a personal development plan, including their aspirations for progression
- cover signposting and next steps, including referral to the Film Academy residential courses and the Film Academy’s alumni activities
- give participants the opportunity to plan, deliver and review a practical film-based project, either individually or as part of a team, which must be showcased at the end of the course
- are led by high profile industry mentors who are respected practitioners in their field or include input and involvement from established industry professionals
- give participants experience on current industry equipment (where applicable)
- Silver Arts Award or NCFE ‘Preparing to Work in the Film industry’ accreditation built in
You should aim to enrol up to 20 young people on the course from a wide range of backgrounds that are at least representative of population demographics.
The Department for Education (DfE) have agreed to flexibility on the age range of applicants who are in receipt of an education, health and care (EHC) plan and older than 19 years old. This means in line with the current maximum age delivery of other Film Academy programmes, applicants with an EHC plan may be recruited from 16-25 yrs old.
Please note that due to restrictions on funding, participants who are at University at the time of application are not permitted to take part in Film Academy courses as participants, although they may become involved in other ways (for example as peer mentors).
Inclusion targets and recruitment
In line with Screen Culture 2033, this set of inclusion targets helps the wider industry move towards a more diverse screen sector and representative of audiences. These are targets for the BFI to achieve, and the activity of partners contributes towards this. Applicants should propose their own KPIs that reflect identified need in relevant communities or localities that contribute towards the BFI’s broader inclusion targets. As with previous courses, this data will be reported back to the relevant funding bodies each year for monitoring purposes.
Safeguarding the participants is absolutely central to the BFI Film Academy. Appointed course providers will be responsible for safety and welfare of the participants on the courses and will have a duty of care for all taking part irrespective of age. When filming the projects, the duty of care would start by ensuring the activity is properly risk assessed and that the activity is managed in a safe manner throughout.
In addition to the BFI funding, you should indicate if you have any other income sources for the activity and/or in-kind funding (please note it is not a necessary requirement of funding to have additional income).
Successful course participants will be asked to pay a one-off nominal participation fee of £25. This is the only payment that should be solicited from them (although they may also have to pay for their own travel).
Including the nominal charge in your budget
The £25 nominal charge due from the participants should be included in your budget.
It should be used to redistribute as travel bursaries to those participants who require financial assistance. Those who require financial assistance should be given the opportunity to opt out of the fee when they submit their application for a place on the course. If your organisation has a particular policy not to charge for your courses, please explain this in the budget section your application.
Please note that due to restrictions on funding, no part of this grant can be allocated to marketing or communication costs. However, recruitment and outreach costs are acceptable, particularly where it enables you to reach a more diverse group of young people.
The deadline for delivering your course is 11 February 2024 (with End of Activity Reporting due 31 March 2024). When writing your application, please consider the most appropriate delivery dates and schedule for your organisation in the current climate. Please ensure that no delivery is scheduled during the February half term period (12 February – 16 February 2024).
We encourage organisations applying to deliver their course in person, with additional online support. As you design and structure your course, please consider how you will ensure that participants are supported to gain key soft and technical skills which are outlined in the Core Educational Outcomes 1 and 2.
The BFI will set out a cash flow schedule for the award. This is likely to be in three instalments. There are a set number of deliverables, also known as requirements, which need to be delivered before the instalment is released. Refer to Offer of funding for more details.
If you’re VAT registered
If you’re registered for VAT, your figures should not include VAT that you can claim back.
If you’re not registered for VAT, or you’re registered for VAT but cannot fully recover the VAT you incur on costs, your figures should include irrecoverable VAT.
Grants we make are ‘outside the scope’ of VAT and should be listed in your accounts as a grant and not, for example, as a fee for any services supplied to the BFI. You should get financial advice from your own accountant or the relevant tax office.
BFI Film Academy course providers are not permitted to make a profit from the course.
Applications must be submitted by midday on Friday 26 May 2023.
Submitting an application
Applications have now closed.
Information you need to provide
In your main application you’ll need to provide:
You’ll be asked to provide an outline of your activity, detailing your aims and objectives. Please refer to the deliverables and KPI’s in section 2.
Download the Short Course Schedule template below and upload alongside your online application form.
You’ll be asked to outline your recruitment strategy and explain specifically how your programme will contribute towards the target numbers for participant recruitment. You should identify in your application and evidence any underserved communities that you will focus on in your proposed KPI targets. This should be done in this section 4b of the application form and should include the rationale.
Please refer to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion section.
You’ll need to notify the BFI of any participants who drop-out of the course. Providers should have a reserve list of participants, and where possible, replace the individual with another suitable applicant.
You’ll be required to give details of your arrangements for child protection, risk assessment and care, including your approach to digital and online safeguarding.
Download the Short Course Budget template and append it to your application.
Ensure you read the guidance on the first tab before completing the budget.
You should upload your organisation’s most recent Annual Statement of Accounts.
How your application is assessed
The sections below gives examples of some of the questions we consider about your application.
- outline proposal demonstrate a good understanding of the aims and objectives of the BFI Film Academy?
- application demonstrate clear links to the film industry?
- application demonstrate strong relationships within the educational and wider cultural sector?
- applicant explain how they will develop young people’s interest, passion and inform them about potential careers across the film industry?
- Does the schedule offer a minimum of 40 hours training to each participant between September of this year and the following half-term February?
- Does the planned programme of activity contribute to delivering the Core Educational Outcomes 1 & 2?
- Is accreditation built into the course schedule?
- Are there sessions where participants are given the opportunity to watch films enabling critical understanding and access from a range of film cultures?
- Is there time for each participant to plan, deliver and review a practical film-based project either individually or as part of a team?
- Does the course include sessions which signpost participants on to next stages of development?
- Does the course schedule include established industry professionals?
- Does the application propose a viable contingency plan in the event that the proposed schedule could not be delivered?
- Does the applicant demonstrate a clear recruitment strategy for participants?
- Does the applicant include a proactive approach to ensuring diversity of young people from a range of cultural and social backgrounds?
- Does the applicant describe ways it will reach those with disabilities, with proof of strategies to achieve this through previous projects?
- Does the applicant demonstrate how equality, diversity and accessibility will be addressed when assessing participants’ applications?
- Where applicable, has the applicant met its diversity commitments for a Film Academy course (or similar) previously?
- Does the applicant consider how recruitment will take place if the schools do not open before the course is due to take place?
Does the applicant have:
- a safe and reliable premises where they are proposing to run the programme?
- an up-to-date safeguarding policy, which includes digital safeguarding?
- qualified and relevantly skilled Disclosure and Barring checked staff to deliver the programme and evidence that appropriate compliance procedures are in place e.g. health and safety policies?
- Is the applicant in an adequate financial position to deliver the Film Academy?
- Is the budget realistic, and appropriate to the scale and nature of the programme?
- Does the budget include consideration of access issues? (E.g. improved physical access to the venue(s), interpreter costs etc.)
- Is there provision for Arts Award or NCFE Preparing to Work in the Film Industry delivery?
How we prioritise submissions
We prioritise proposals that:
- are closest to the Fund objective and outcomes
- offer value for money
- take risks and try new approaches
We will undertake a detailed assessment of your proposal for the course activity including management, recruitment, delivery plan, alumni support plan, safeguarding and the budget.
In addition, we expect to make the same geographical spread of awards as in previous years, funding the following number of courses in each region:
|Number of courses
Yorkshire and the Humber
We expect to fund 5 of the regional courses in DfE opportunity areas: Bradford, Ipswich, Norwich, Derby and West Somerset.
After you apply you’ll get:
- confirmation we received your application within 1-2 working days
- a decision from the week commencing 10 July 2023
We’ll request any additional information we may need within 3 weeks.
We’ll review your application and if necessary, may write to you or request to meet with you to obtain more information about your application. If we need additional information from you, it may take us longer to reach a decision on your application.
Each eligible application will be assessed by the BFI (which may involve a combination of internal and/or external assessors). If your application is ineligible, we will email to tell you we will not be able to consider it. We may allow you to fix a mistake if this is the only reason the application is ineligible.
Lottery Funding Committee Consideration
Following assessment of each application, funding recommendations will be made to the BFI Lottery Finance Committee. This is the final stage of the funding decision process. We undertake due diligence assessments of the applications we are recommending to our decision-making committee for funding. As part of this, before submitting an application to the committee, we will request the bank details of the lead applicant.
We will also request the personal address and date of birth of the CEO or Managing Director of the organisation applying. Please note that our request for this information is not an indication or confirmation of funding and you will be informed separately of the funding decision on your application. We will use this data to run an identity check. Please note that this is not a credit check and will not affect the ability of the CEO or Managing Director to receive credit from other organisations. We will be unable to submit your application to our decision-making committee until we have received your completed form.
All applicants will be informed in writing of the decision on their application. If your application is declined, all supporting materials will be deleted from your submission in line with our record retention policy.
Feedback may be given on unsuccessful applications upon request.
Contact BFI Film Academy Grants and Partnerships Coordinator, email@example.com if you have any queries.
If you are successful in your application we will issue a conditional offer of funding (the Funding Agreement) the week commencing Monday 10 July 2023. You will be required to attend an induction day arranged by the BFI for all selected course providers.
If you are offered an award from us, in addition to the General Conditions of National Lottery Funding, the following conditions will apply to your award.
All appointed course providers will be required to submit the following paperwork prior to receipt of funding and commencement of the course:
- list of all staff working on the course on headed paper
- evidence of Disclosure and Barring (DBS) for all key staff working on the course
- an up-to-date health and safety policy (including how any social distancing measures might be actioned)
- an up-to-date safeguarding policy
- completed risk assessment (we provide this template to successful applicants)
Use of the award
Any award must be used exclusively for the purpose for which it was requested as set out in your application. The award should not be used for marketing and advertising, or for any costs associated with the maintenance, technical development or updating of existing websites or for the development/creation of new websites. You will be required to undertake to fully comply with Disclosure and Barring, health and safety and child protection policies in delivering the course.
Course providers will need to notify the BFI of any participants who drop-out of the course and where possible replace the individual with another suitable applicant.
Funding will be offered to run the course for one year.
Monitoring, performance review and evaluation
As part of the award we expect course providers to collect monitoring data on the deliverables. An End of Activity (EOA) report template will be provided to you by the BFI, which will capture this information, and will be due on the 31 March 2024.
In addition to the completed EOA report, you will also need to submit:
- a budget and cost statement setting out actual expenditure against budget
- media release forms for all participants
- list of project staff, freelancers and volunteers
- images, video and/or sound recordings of your activity in formats specified
An evaluation may be carried out by an independent third party, and you may be asked share data and other information with the appointed evaluators to demonstrate your contribution to these measures of success.
Payment of the award
The BFI will set out a cash flow schedule for the award. This is likely to be in three instalments as follows:
- 20% on signature of funding agreement and receipt and approval by BFI of the following documents:
- list of all confirmed staff working on the course on headed paper
- evidence of Disclosure and Barring (DBS) for all key staff working on the course
- an up-to-date safeguarding policy
- an up-to-date health and safety policy
- completed Risk Assessment (the BFI will provide this template to successful applicants)
- 50% upon receipt and approval from the BFI of:
- a finalised course schedule and budget [confirming if you will be delivering to your original schedule or contingency plan]
- completed BFI monitoring template (this will be provided to you if your application is successful) which should include the number of participants:
- successfully recruited
- from ethnically diverse backgrounds
- from female identifying backgrounds within the gender binary
- from a working class background
- with a disability
- 30% upon receipt of:
- End of Activity (EOA) report by BFI, films, images and all accompanying documentation (before this payment is made, the EOA report will be reviewed internally and this will take a minimum of two weeks from submission)
The BFI funding comprises Department for Education in England, National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen funding.
It is therefore an important condition of BFI funding that the sources of the funding are prominently acknowledged throughout all aspects of the programme including through display of the UK government/Department of Education, BFI/National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen lock-up logo (for example, marketing materials, website) and through agreed verbal and written acknowledgment (for example, press releases, social media) and that award recipients take frequent opportunities to highlight not just the fact of the funding, but why it is funded, and therefore the good work that‘s possible through these agencies.
You will be required to comply with all branding guidance issued by BFI (which may be updated from time to time).
The BFI Film Academy will deliver a wide range of Core Educational Outcomes (CEO). It is expected that the skills and knowledge acquired through such activities will aid participants’ progression into the film and media industries.
Applicants should address these core educational outcomes when developing their course. Activity should include:
- all core educational outcomes from CEO 1
- one or more from CEO 2
Core Educational Outcomes 1 (CEO 1)
Your course should include all of the outcomes from CEO 1.
Knowledge and understanding
- Understanding of film as a subject and art form and other subjects that are addressed through film
- Receive a rounded educational and cultural experience of film and filmmaking
- Develop basic critiquing skills through watching and discussing a wide range of British and world cinema
- Gain understanding of a story structure
- Gain a clear understanding of the film value chain from development through to distribution
- Have direct engagement with industry practitioners in relevant fields
- Greater appreciation of and demand for British films
- Understanding the film industry, options for career and Further Education progression
- Gain a clear understanding of key roles and job market in the film industry and wider film sector
- Develop knowledge around opportunities for advancement in this sector across employment, HE/FE and vocational training
- Supported in devising a bespoke development plan
- Gain or improve soft skills, communication skills (including non-verbal)
- Gain knowledge of negotiating, communication, teamwork through direct practical application of filmmaking for example, as part of production team, role of producer, director etc.
Attitudes and behaviours
- Improve or enhance motivation and engagement, empathy, confidence, motivation at home and at school
- Strengthen identity and voice. Provide individuals with a sense of achievement
Enjoyment and aspiration
Participants are engaged, captivated and enjoy the experience of film.
Core Educational Outcomes 2 (CEO 2)
Your course should include one or more of the outcomes from CEO 2.
- Gain and improve technical skills, critical faculties, and collaboration and team work
- Gain understanding and practical experience of physical production of film
- Learn basic camera, lighting or sound skills on current industry equipment
- Gain overview of 3D and 2D animation techniques
- Gain overview of VFX workflows with mainstream production
- Post Production and mastering of films
- Marketing, exhibition and distribution lessons
- Gain practical experience of editing software, for example Final Cut Pro
- Produce short films where relevant
- Develop a script or treatment that meets film production specification
- Learn about the documentary form: Produce Mini Docs
- Understand the uses of animation in film and develop and use the techniques and processes in a short film production: stings (short 15 sec animates)
Where relevant, participants should have the opportunity to showcase work produced during programme activity.