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Take part in BFI Film Academy

The Academy offers the chance to make your own films, learn from filmmaking professionals and grow your creative network.

What film do you want to make? Do you want to be part of a documentary crew or create a drama/animation?

There are two courses on offer, each has a different focus:

Drama at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

At Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, you will be part of a larger crew that work together to make a short drama film with elements of animation. You will meet from 6-9pm on Thursdays and some weekends.

Watch films made at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Apply to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Documentary at Watershed

At Watershed, you will work as part of a small crew to create a short documentary film for Rife Magazine and put on Inside Film our annual youth film industry event. You will meet from 6-9pm on Wednesdays and some weekends.

Watch films made at Watershed

Apply to Watershed

Hear from people who have been on the Film Academy

Further details

The academy runs one evening per week and some weekends from December 2019 to March 2020 during term-time only.

On both courses you will work in a  professional environment on industry-standard kit to create your films, from initial idea to seeing them on the big screen.

You can choose either documentary or drama.

Can I apply for BFI Film Academy Bristol?

You can, if:

  • You are aged between 16-19
  • You are not at University
  • You are able to attend all the course dates
  • You are able to travel weekly to central Bristol (travel bursaries are available)

You must apply by Monday 4 November at 5pm.


Are there any fees or bursaries?

If you are accepted on the Academy there is a fee of £25. Don’t worry if you can’t cover this, just indicate when asked on the application form if you need this waived. We also have bursaries for help with travel, childcare, access or other costs.

Can you help with access needs?

Yes. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and work to accommodate all access requirements. We will openly discuss and tailor how we do things to support you as best we can.

Is there a qualification?

Yes. You will be supported to get the NCFE Preparing to Work in the Film Industry qualification through your work on the Academy.

Are there further opportunities after the Academy has finished?

Yes. You will be supported to apply to the British Film Institute’s residential programme – intensive residential courses, which include the Residential Specialist and Craft Skills programmes.

After the Academy you will become part of the growing alumni network that connects you with young filmmakers across the whole of the UK. You will hear about great opportunities in the film industry and continue your learning through online masterclasses and ace events such as the BAFTA career talks.

I have some more questions. Who can I get in touch with?

If you have any questions about the BFI Film Academy get in touch with Bex at Watershed on

More about the UK-wide BFI Film Academy Programme

Open to young people from anywhere in the UK and from any background, the BFI Film Academy offers a real chance for talented 16-19-year-olds to be part of our future film industry. Take a look at the UK Network page for more information and films.

Film Academy funding partners include the Department for Education in England, the National Lottery, Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland. Strategic partners include BAFTA, Pinewood Studios and Creative Skillset, helping to ensure the Academy is a gold standard film industry-focused educational programme.