BFI Film Academy comes to Plymouth

by Jessica Holliland
BFI Film Academy

BFI Film academy photo credit British Film Institute

This October for the first time, Plymouth will become the South West host city for the BFI film academy course. One of only 50 centres nationwide, Plymouth College of Art are excited to have been successful in their application to host this prestigious course and are eager to open it’s opportunities to as many local young people as possible.

There are no academic criteria for applying to the course; the most important things are that you can demonstrate you are passionate about filmmaking and keen to attend. Talking to course leader Billy Abbot, he explains that they are eager to attract people who aren’t afraid of making mistakes and being challenged, people who are willing to really take the opportunities that arise and do something with them. To this end, students will work in small groups and use their own creativity to devise storylines, plan shots, write dialogue and ultimately, produce a great quality film to be entered in to the 2018 Plymouth Film Festival. They will be given access to top range equipment from PCA as well as gaining insight and tuition from local and national professionals including the former commissioning editor of Channel 4, the head of the Masters in Cinematography course at The National Film and Television School, the former managing director of Nickelodeon and others.

BFI film academy Camera training shot

BFI film academy includes Camera training

BFI Film Academy image Lighting

BFI Film Academy image Lighting set up

Applications are open to young people aged 16-19 from all walks of life across Devon and Cornwall. Both Plymouth College of Art and The British Film Institute would like to encourage applications from across the social and cultural spectrum, they are eager to reach young people who may find it hard to access opportunities. With almost 60 hours of tuition included, the course fee is only £25 and there are bursaries available to help with that cost as well as financial assistance to help cover travel expenses for any applicants who may need it.

Supported and funded by the Department for Education in England and the National Lottery, the course will give 20 young people the opportunity to gain invaluable experience working alongside industry professionals as well as getting hands-on filmmaking experience. On completion of the course each participant will gain a NCFE level 2 award in preparing to work in the film industry.

Applications are open from Wednesday 12 July until Sunday 1 October 2017

In order to apply for any BFI Film Academy course, you must:

  • Be aged 16-19 years old on the first day of the course.
  • Be a UK resident.
  • Have a passion or talent for filmmaking and an ambition to work in the film industry.
  • Be able to commit to the duration of the course.
  • Not currently be at university or enrolled at university when the course starts


For more information on applying, contact Billy Abbot at Plymouth College of Art.

BFI Publicity image

BFI publicity shot: Setting a scene