BFI Film Academy

Are you 16-19? Passionate about documentary film? Do you want a career in the film industry? We are looking for 16-19 year olds who can demonstrate a passion for documentary film-making . You do not need any formal qualifications in media or film.

BFI Academy

This 9 day 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.

Over the course of the residential you will:

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


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 Saturday 20th  – Sunday 21st January 2018 and a production week from 11th-17th February 2018.  You must be available to attend all of these dates to be eligible for the course


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.


We welcome applications from talented young filmmakers from all backgrounds. The Course Fee ranges from £0 to £210 which includes your accommodation and food for the duration of the residential.

Due to generous support from the Department for Education in England, Creative Scotland, Lottery funding and Northern Ireland Screen we are able to heavily subsidise the cost of fees. The true cost of providing these courses is £1,500, but the maximum you will be asked to pay is £210 if you fall into the highest income bracket. Depending on your financial circumstances we will subsidise some of the Course Fee or all of it.

Please don’t let the cost of the residential courses deter you from applying. If a young person is offered a place on the Film Academy and can’t afford the Course Fee or other associated costs, our bursary scheme can help them – if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend. For more information please download the FAQs here or email


Application process:

Please download the application form here:

Documentary Residential Application Form 2018

Documentary Residential Schedule

Please complete an application form and include a documentary idea. Please save your form as Documentary Application_YOURNAME and email it to us by 5pm on December 4th 2017.


Closing date for all applications: December 4th 5pm 2017

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

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.