The BFI has launched a programme of film clubs across England to offer high-quality learning about film and wider screen media to aspiring young people aged 12 to 15 from disadvantaged backgrounds. The BFI Film Clubs, which will run this spring and summer, will offer online experiences, alongside more traditional face-to-face learning where possible, in locations identified as ‘Opportunity Areas’ by the Department for Education (DfE) due to social and economic challenges. 

The majority of film clubs will take place in school holidays and at weekends, while seven will be held at pupil referral units (PRUs), including six delivered by Creative Media Skills Institute with the support of Henry Blake, writer-director of the multi BAFTA-nominated film County Lines. Details of the BFI Film Clubs, including booking information, can be found on the Film Clubs page.

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The BFI Film Clubs programme is a pilot co-funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Youth Accelerator Fund and the BFI through National Lottery funding. It is designed to strategically link with other existing BFI funded initiatives delivered across the UK, including: Into Film, which is supported with National Lottery funding to give 5 to 19-year-olds the chance to experience film creatively, and reaches over two thirds of UK schools; the BFI Film Academy, which offers hands-on filmmaking courses and events for 16 to 25-year-olds, providing real opportunities for a career in film (supported by National Lottery funding and DfE); and ScreenSkills, which delivers on the BFI’s Future Film Skills Strategy, developing skills and talent, and investing in the future of UK screen.

Leigh Adams, Director of Education and Skills at the BFI, said:

Through these new BFI Film Clubs we want to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, giving young people who might feel that it’s not for them, or that it’s an impossible dream, the chance to explore a range of films and other screen-based media, gain a real understanding of what goes into making them, the breadth of job roles available, and the pathways to other BFI programmes where they could learn more. We’re delighted to be working with providers across England to offer subsidised opportunities outside of school hours in underserved areas, as well as tailored provision within PRUs. We’re grateful to National Lottery players for helping to enable this activity.

The National Lottery raises £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.

Caroline Dinenage, Creative Industries Minister, said:

Learning about film and storytelling should be for everybody and initiatives like this one are absolutely vital to strengthen the screen skills pipeline. With our support, the BFI is creating opportunities for the producers, directors, writers and designers of the future to fall in love with film this summer.

BFI Film Clubs in 2021 (local training provider in brackets)

BFI Film Clubs open to the public:

  • Blackpool (Aunty Social)
  • Bradford (Reel Solutions) 
  • Doncaster (Showroom Workstation Sheffield)
  • Fenland and East Cambridgeshire (104 Films)
  • Ipswich (Signals)
  • Minehead, West Somerset (Somerset Film and Video)
  • Norwich (Creative Nation) 
  • Scarborough (Reel Solutions)

BFI Film Clubs at Pupil Referral Units:

  • Bradford (Creative Media Skills Institute)
  • Derby – Newton’s Walk PRU (Creative Media Skills Institute)
  • Fenland (Wisbech) – TBAP Unity Academy (Flipvanmoon)
  • Ipswich – Raedwald Trust (Creative Media Skills Institute)
  • Norwich (Creative Media Skills Institute)
  • Oldham – Kingsland PRU (Creative Media Skills Institute) 
  • Stoke-on-Trent – Reach Academy (Creative Media Skills Institute)