The BFI Film Academy Bristol is now in full swing here at Watershed. Eighteen talented Bristolians aged 16 – 19 were carefully selected from over 170 applicants to take part in this three-month industry-led programme that gives them a real overview of the film industry.
The Academy is an amazing free opportunity for young people - the lucky participants get to experience an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to work in film from developing ideas to getting movies to the cinema screen. There are all sorts of different jobs in the film industry done by diverse types of people and the Academy will help young people find their place – whether they want to be a sound engineer, animator, director, producer, programmer, journalist or anything in between!
As part of the programme, participants will be helping behind the scenes at Filmic, Watershed and St George's festival of film and music. They will get to grips with programming and promotion, working with industry leaders such as critic and director Mark Cousins and PR whizz Clare Wilford. This will help to expand their industry and creative networks, enabling them to pick up the insights they will need to find their path in the film industry. They will also get hands-on filmmaking experience; making a short documentary with mentoring from Award-winning filmmakers such as Emily Barber from Striding Edge Films.
Hannah Higginson, Engagement Projects Producer at Watershed who is coordinating the scheme, says:
'It's great fun working with the talent of tomorrow and seeing the participants really get stuck in. They are a talented bunch and very enthusiastic. Watershed's long-term commitment to talent development fits perfectly with the BFI Film Academy's aims and I'm sure the outcomes will be exciting'
Watershed are one of 24 national delivery partners the BFI have appointed to deliver the Film Academy across England, supported by the Department for Education in England. The Youth Film Academy Network also forms part of the BFI’s overall 5-19 Education Scheme. Watershed's Academy participants are also being encouraged to apply for the British Film Institute (BFI) Residential Talent Campus run by the National Film and Television School, a two week course bringing together top young talent from all over England, in April.
You can follow their progress and read their blogs on the Bristol BFI Film Academy website.