BFI Film Academy

BFI Academy


The BFI Documentary Residential offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet OSCAR and BAFTA winning documentary film-makers, work with broadcast quality equipment, gain technical skills and produce a high quality documentary film. You just need to be aged between 16-19 years and have a passion for documentary film.

Over the course of the residential you will:

  1. Create short documentaries in teams that will be screened in a London Cinema in front of friends and family.
  2. Attend masterclasses with industry experts including double OSCAR winning Producer Simon Chinn, Editor of The Imposter Andrew Hulme, and many more.
  3. Attend craft skill workshops to learn the technical skills of camera, sound and editing from industry professionals.
  4. Attend workshops in research and development and production management.
  5. Attend a range of trips including the BFI’s Future Film Festival.
  6. Watch a range of award-winning documentaries and meet the film-makers.
  7. Gain practical experience in an idea development session with award-winning documentary company CTVC.

There will be 40 young people aged 16-19 on the course. We accept applications from young people living anywhere in the UK.

Please click here to see a short film about the residential in Feb 2016.


You must be aged 16-19 on the start date of the course

You must have a passion for documentary film.

You must be able to attend all of the residential dates.

You must NOT be attending university at the start of the course.


Our residential includes a pre-residential weekend from Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd January 2017 and a production week from 12th-18th February 2017.  You must be available to attend all of these dates to be eligible for the course




We welcome applications from talented young filmmakers from all backgrounds. The fee ranges from £0 to £210, including accommodation and food, but a generous bursary scheme ensures that costs will not prevent any filmmaker from taking part – if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend. For more information please download the FAQ’s here or email

Please don’t let the cost of the residential courses deter you from applying. Due to generous support from the DfE, Creative Scotland, Lottery funding and Northern Ireland Screen we are able to heavily subsidise the cost of fees. The true cost of providing this course is £1,500, but the maximum you will be asked to pay is £210 if you fall into the highest income bracket.

If a young person is offered a place on the Film Academy and can’t afford the fee, our bursary scheme will help them. Depending on your financial circumstances we will fund some of the cost or all of it and also have a separate fund that can help with travel, childcare or other prohibitive costs.


Debden House, Debden Green, Loughton, Essex IG10 2NZ. This is located near Epping Forest. All meals will be provided here, at no additional cost. You will be sharing rooms with other participants.

Application Process

Please download the application form and schedule here:

Documentary Residential Application Form 2017

Documentary Residential Schedule 2017:

Please note, due to the busy schedules of some of our industry speakers dates or names may change. Participants will be notified in advance about any changes in the course that may take place.

Please complete an application form and include a documentary idea. Please save your form as Documentary Application_YOURNAME and email it to us at by 6pm on December 6th 2016.


Closing date for all applications: December 6th 6pm.

Call us on 0333 012 4265 or email if you have any questions.

There are other BFI courses, please view them here