BFI Film Academy Chester

ARE YOU 16-19?




Funded by the Department for Education and the National Lottery, the BFI Film Academy short courses are delivered at over 50 locations across the UK. These introductory hands-on filmmaking courses support the building of knowledge and skills to equip young people for a range of pathways into the screen industries.

Regarded highly by the industry and targeting talented young people aged 16-19, the BFI Film Academies have an excellent track record of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and crew. 

The BFI Film Academy Chester focuses on immersive filmmaking – we use 360° cameras to shoot the films and use editing software to create films that can be viewed in VR (Virtual Reality). Since the start of the pandemic immersive filmmaking, particularly for games, is one of the few areas of the screen industries has experienced massive growth this year. As more things continue to need to move online, never has there been a better time to skill up in this new emerging field of filmmaking. 

As a participant on the Film Academy you will:

Be involved in making a short film either individually or as part of a team

Be guided through the filmmaking process from start to finish 

Be supported to turn your own ideas and stories into a film

Learn from industry professionals and start to make some great contacts 

Review short films

Experience immersive and 360° filmmaking

Work towards achieving a Silver Arts Award qualification

You’ll be required to plan your work, create and maintain your own online portfolio and attend the course sessions either face to face or online if necessary, on the following dates:

Saturday 17 October 2020, Saturday 24 – Saturday 31 October 2020 with additional sessions to support you completing your Silver Arts Award either face to face or online on Saturday 7 November 2020, with a showcase exhibition event featuring your films TBC in November or December 2020.  

Once you have completed the Network course, you will become part the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to a range of events and career opportunities.

We welcome applications from talented young people from all backgrounds. If you think you will struggle to pay the £25 course fee, please still apply – if you have the talent we’ll make sure you can attend. Bursaries are available to cover the course fee and travel, childcare or other costs. More information about who can, and how to apply for bursaries can be found here.

Take a look at some of the great short films made by previous participants at the BFI Film Academy on YouTube.

You could also apply for one of the BFI Film Academy’s intensive residential courses as a graduate of Chester’s BFI Film Academy. The residential courses last between one and two weeks and are designed to develop more specialist filmmaking skills. 

Find out here how you can use film to achieve a Silver Arts Award whilst on the BFI Film Academy Chester.  

We are monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 very closely and have created robust risk assessments to ensure that everyone is kept safe. The safety of our participants and our delivery team is our priority. We know just how much our course participants gain from working as part of a team together, face to face, on their film productions so our aim is to include key components of our courses face to face adhering to strict COVID secure industry principles. However we have also developed additional resources so we have the option to move the courses online or deliver a blended learning combination of face to face and online sessions should the developing situation dictate that is the safest option. The Chester BFI Film Academy focuses on VR and 360° filmmaking however, if it is necessary to move the course online owing to local COVID restrictions, participants may be working with more traditional filmmaking methods.



Further Information: or

Tel: 07977 458213

The application form is also available as a PDF if you’d prefer this format. Please get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about any barriers you’re facing that may be preventing you from participating in the Academy as well as any additional needs so we can work with you to best support and work around those – breaking barriers and solving problems is our thing.  Every persons story and voice is really important to us – our world is a much richer place with them. 

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