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Get a foothold into the film industry with Barrow’s free BFI Film Academy

Applications are now open for the BFI FILM ACADEMY taking place at Signal Film and Media in Barrow-in-Furness this Winter. 18 young participants will get the chance to learn vital skills, gain experience and work with industry professionals as part of a crew to write, direct, produce, voice act, shoot and edit a short animated film, which will be produced during December 2020.

The BFI Film Academy provides an opportunity for young people aged 16-19 to take their first steps towards a career in film & TV, one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. The UK produced nearly a quarter of ALL FILMS in the last 15 years and a recent report predicts 30,000 new jobs will be created in the next 5-10 years.

Co-Director of Signal Film and Media Loren Slater, who was a camera operator on the recent British Netflix film CALIBRE said: ‘‘There are so many jobs in the film industry, including some you may never have heard of! Film crews can suffer from a lack of ‘set-readiness’ among newer team members so gaining these practical skills as part of a real film shoot is vital. The BFI Film Academy is the best possible place to put you in the know and to get you started on your career.”

No prior skills or experience are needed and the academy fits around school and college hours from October 2020 – January 2021. There will be a mix of online Zoom sessions and in-person, socially-distanced activities that make up the course. Young people get a qualification at the end and there will be the chance to apply for a free place at the prestigious residential course at the National Film and Television School.

Previous members have said: “I’m still fairly new to this whole gig, so this was an overall incredible experience. With the new people I’ve met, the skills I’ve obtained and just the overall procedure of creating a film has been absolutely joyous to be a part of. I really do hope to do something like this again”

“I was expecting a film that wouldn’t be particularly good, that I would work on for a week. Instead, I got a high production value film that I would work on for months. It really provided me with a greater knowledge of the film industry.”

There’s a huge demand for more diverse voices coming from outside a historically London-centric industry, and so the academy particularly welcomes applicants who identify as female / BAME / living with a disability or learning difference from all manner of backgrounds.

Bursaries are available for those who need to travel. Applications are only open to young people aged 16-19 living in Cumbria and North Lancashire & not to previous academy participants or if you currently attend or have signed up for university.

Deadline for main applications: Wednesday 23rd September 2020 

Apply online:

Contact: [email protected]

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