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Supporting and showcasing tomorrow’s talent with the BFI Film Academy Bristol

Posted on Mon 7 Apr 2014
Meet the BFI Film Academy Bristol participants

Last week we hosted a special showcase of four short films made by BFI Film Academy Bristol participants. The event brought the three-month course to a close for this year's group of talented and ambitious 16 - 19 year olds who have worked with Watershed and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to learn about what it's like to work in film.

It has been an amazing opportunity for them to work alongside professionals from the BBC, Clockwise Media, BFI and 8th Sense Media as they planned and produced their mini-movies and they have been able to get hands on throughout, from pitching film ideas and storyboarding to being on set and behind the camera.

The special showcase event was an exciting opportunity to see their filmmaking work on the big screen and hear from the group about their experiences.

The BFI Film Academy Showcase was a sell-out success

This year's BFI Film Academy Bristol mini-docs are now available to watch online. So even if you missed the showcase, you can still check out this varied and dynamic set of films. 

We caught up with one of the participants on the night and asked what the programme had meant to their current and future career plans.

BFI Film Academy Bristol participant Bea Perry, aged 19 said: 

It has been really great working with a host of industry professionals during the programme. My highlight was the shoot day because we worked so hard to plan for it and in the end it went really well - we were really productive and it felt like a real shoot. I now plan to look for volunteer positions at local production companies as well as paid jobs in a creative setting where I can work my way up.

Behind the Streets, one of the participants' films

As part of the programme, participants also helped behind the scenes at Filmic '14, Watershed and St George's festival of film and music. In March the group devised, designed and delivered a unique evening of film and music at Watershed.

Excited attendees lost themselves in Tokyo with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson at a special screening of Sofia Coppola's 'Lost in Translation' followed by a free themed party featuring karaoke, a photo-booth, glow in the dark cocktails and music. Watch this short video to find out more about how the participants put on this unique and successful event.

One Night in Tokyo, at the bar

With support from professionals and access to creative networks throughout, the BFI Film Academy Bristol aims to help participants pick up the insights they need to find their path in the film industry, whilst also gaining invaluble hands on experience.

Hannah Higginson, Engagement Projects Producer at Watershed who coordinated the scheme, says:

It's been great fun working with the talent of tomorrow and seeing the participants really get stuck in. They are an ambitious bunch and very enthusiastic. Watershed's long-term commitment to talent development fits perfectly with the BFI Film Academy's aims and the outcomes have been really impressive and exciting!

We are very pleased and very proud to be supporting and showcasing tomorrow's film industry talent! If you are interested in getting involved then our available opportunties can be found here. If you would like to know more about the particpants' of this year's BFI Film Academy Bristol you can read their blogs on the Bristol BFI Film Academy website.

The BFI Film Academy forms a key part of the BFI's ambitious plans to revolutionise film education for 5 -19 year olds, a core aim of the BFI's Film Forever five year plan to support the future success of UK film. 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 BFI Academy is a gold standard film industry-focused educational programme.

Image credits: JonCraig.co.uk