BFI Film Academy Leeds– for young aspiring filmmakers

Are you 16-19? Passionate about film? Want a career in the film industry?

If so, the BFI Film Academy is for you. This course offers you the chance to be part of our future film industry.

Click here to apply

Delivered as a partnership between Leeds Young Film, Beta Filmworks and Access Moving Image, the BFI Film Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of British filmmakers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality.

The BFI Film Academy offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire a broad appreciation of film culture. Participants will get to work alongside professional directors, writers, producers and actors from films such Wedding Belles, 4 Lions and We Are Poets and hear from others involved in TV shows such as Humans, Outlander, Game of Thrones and Emmerdale.

As a student of the Film Academy:

  • You will get hands-on filmmaking experience which will help you to develop practical knowledge and skills.
  • You can explore your own creativity and passions in a supportive and dynamic environment.
  • You will gain invaluable experience working alongside industry professionals who are respected practitioners in their field.
  • You will watch a range of cinema from British independent to specialised films.
  • You will work towards the ncfe ‘Preparing to Work in the Film Industry’ Level 2 qualification
  • You will work towards a practical film-based project, either individually or as part of a team.

Once you have completed the course, you will become part of the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to events such as BAFTA career talks.

We welcome applications from talented young filmmakers 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.

Click here to apply

Bursaries are available if you require assistance with travel, childcare or other costs. More information about who can 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:

BFI Film Academy FAQs

Over the last five years nearly 100 young people have completed the course and many Film Academy alumni have successfully furthered their careers in film. Gage (BFI Film Academy graduate 2014) has since made his first feature film which premiered during Leeds International Film Festival, Rebecca (BFI Film Academy graduate 2012) won a student RTS Award and Molly (BFI Film Academy graduate 2014) gained a place on the Film Academy residential at the NFTS (National Film and Television School), and then went on to work at the BFI Film Fund offices in London. Alfie (BFI Film Academy graduate 2012) won the AXA award for most talented newcomer, receiving £40,000 worth of equipment and mentoring.

“The Leeds BFI Film Academy scheme cemented my interest in filmmaking and made me sure I wanted to pursue film as a career. I had great fun on the course, and after completion gained a place on the Film Academy residential at the NFTS, and then went on to work at the BFI Film Fund offices in London. I am now acting as Producer’s Assistant on a feature film, giving me indispensable insight into the production process. I’d highly recommend the Leeds Academy to any young person who thinks they might want to pursue filmmaking in the future!” Molly (previous BFI Film Academy graduate)

Click here to apply



BFI Film Academy

Improving Literacy Through Film CPD

Working alongside Beta FilmWorks and Into Film, LYFF has launched a programme for primary school teachers to improve literacy at KS1-6 using film in the classroom.

This programme is aimed at Literacy and Computing subject leaders and all practitioners with an interest in using film more effectively in the classroom. The programme guarantees improvement in:

  • Attainment;
  • Speaking and listening, reading and writing;
  • Attendance & behaviour;
  • Teachers’ planning and delivery (resulting in higher Ofsted judgements for those involved)

The course will include relevant film and literacy research, the impact of film education on literacy learning, activities to support filmmaking, how to measure and document progress and planning for next steps.

Please email for more information or visit

“This program has been brilliant. It has given another focus to the teaching of English and has invigorated the pupils in both reading and writing. Our reading assessments, in particular, have shown accelerated progress. We will continue to use the program’s strategies in school and cascade it to other staff as an example of good practice.”

Gillian Young, Headteacher, Rosebank Primary School, Leeds