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BFI Film Academy Plymouth

Plymouth College of Art, in partnership with BFI, will host the prestigious BFI 16-19 Film Academy programme.


This exciting programme offers hands-on filmmaking courses, aimed at developing your knowledge and skills and encouraging your special interests.

Are you 16-19? Passionate about film? Want a career in the film industry? Then the BFI Film Academy — UK Network Programme is for you. Applications now open!

"The academy was a resounding success last year, with 100% of students achieving their preparing to work in the film industry qualification, which is built-in alongside the extensive range of practical skills and experience on the course."
— Billy Abbott, Project Manager


There will be over 40 different courses running between September 2018 and March 2019 across the UK so wherever you live — be it Birmingham or Belfast, Dundee or Durham — you will have the opportunity to gain the essential skills to enter the film industry.

Take a look at some of the great short films made by previous participants at the BFI  Film  Academy on  YouTube. What’s more, you could also apply for one of our seven intensive residential programmes. Courses last between one and two weeks and are designed to develop more specialist filmmaking skills.

Courses provide at least 40 hours of industry standard training through regular evenings and/or weekend classes. Each one offers a combination of workshops, practical skills lessons and lectures.

You will also get masterclasses by key industry figures, receive personalised careers advice and work towards making a final film on a team. As a graduate of the BFI Film Academy, you will become part of the growing alumni network and have access to year-round events such as BAFTA career surgeries.

BFI Film Academy Plymouth students will be given, in crews of 6-7, a short piece written by a local scriptwriter and be tasked with the creation of a short film with local actors sourced specifically for the academy films. Three shorts will be produced during the academy by the 20 students involved, and these shorts will be screened not only as part of a final Plymouth-based showcase, but also as part of a regional South West BFI talent event. At every step of the way, all students will be given guidance, resources and practical skills training in order to be able to achieve a high-quality outcome.

"The BFI Film Academy really was the opportunity of a lifetime. I've come away with so many skills which I will continue to channel and grow in the near future."
— Ceri Prowse, BFI Film Academy student/alumni


Our guest speakers for the coming year include an inspiring range of practitioners which you can find below. All students will have the chance to not only learn from some of the best in the industry, but they will also be actively involved in these workshops.

Students will be taught practical filmmaking skills from the ground up, including but not limited to camera, sound, lighting, editing, crew roles, pre and post production and managing actors.

In addition to developing an accomplished range of practical skills, students will also undertake work to individually attain the NCFE Level 2 Preparing to Work in the Film Industry qualification, understand the best progression options for making their career in the film industry, and involve themselves in networking opportunities with other talent from Plymouth and the South West.

Sound good? At a course cost of just £25, we think so too!


Please note that attendance is required on all of the following dates:

All day on the following dates:
- Saturday 6 October 10am - 5pm 
- Saturday 13 October 10am - 5pm
- Saturday 20 October 10am - 5pm
- All week Monday 22 - Friday 26 October 10am - 5pm 

Tuesday evenings (3 hrs) on the following dates:
- Tuesday 30 October 5pm - 8pm 
- Tuesday 6 November 5pm-8pm
- Tuesday 13 November 5pm-8pm
- Tuesday 20 November 5pm-8pm
- Tuesday 27 November 5pm - 8pm
- Tuesday 4 December 5pm - 8pm 
- Tuesday 11 December 5 - 8pm
- Tuesday 8 January 5pm - 8pm
- Tuesday 15 January 5pm - 8pm
- Tuesday 22 January 5pm - 8pm

Course cost (includes ALL dates above): £25



  • Alice Cabanas - BFI Regional Talent Manager, South West
  • Oliver Stapleton BSC - Director of Photography, British Society of Cinematographers
  • Ivan Greyling - Producer, Director and Cinematographer
  • Rebel Film Festival - Will and Ben, directors of Rebel Film Festival
  • Hana Backland - Camera Operator
  • Cali Andrews - Scriptwriter
  • Round One Films - Local film production company
  • Janie Grace - Creative director of Jack and His Brother, Former managing director of Nickelodeon and ITV Kids

If you are unable to pay the full course fee, don’t let this discourage you from applying. Contact Billy Abbott, the project manager (, as costs may be waived. Bursaries for travel and childcare are also available if you require assistance with these costs.

Please note that if you have previously been on a BFI Film Academy residential course or are enrolled in University during the 2018/19 academic year, you are not eligible to apply.

Arts Award or NCFE ‘Preparing to Work in the Film Industry’ accreditation for participants will be offered by course providers as part of the UK Network Programme courses.


Have a question about the course? Contact Billy Abbott at