BFI Film Academy Chester

Are you aged 16-19? Passionate about film? Interested in a career in the film industry? If so, please join us on this year's BFI Film Academy Chester .


BFI Film Academy offers opportunities for ambitious 16-25 year olds, anywhere in the UK, to get to know more about film and how to make a career in the screen industries. Delivered at over 50 locations across the UK and supported by the Department for Education, National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen, the introductory hands-on filmmaking course in Chester for young people aged 16-19 will help you build knowledge and skills and show you the different pathways into the industry whether you want to test the water or improve your existing skills.


Reel Solutions is very proud of our excellent track record of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and crew with many of our former participants now working in a range of roles in film, TV and XR. We have been delivering film schools to young people in partnership with the BFI since the start of the BFI Film Academy scheme in 2011.


BFI Film Academy Chester provides the very highest quality film skills training focused on Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° filmmaking to talented young people. You'll have fun with filmmaking processes, gain confidence, new skills and learn more about careers in the thriving new industry of VR and 360° filmmaking.


Since the start of the pandemic immersive filmmaking, particularly for games, is one of the few areas of the screen industries which has experienced massive growth. As more cultural activities continue to move online, never has there been a better time to skill up in this new emerging field of filmmaking.


Our courses have an excellent track record of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and crew - we believe in your enthusiasm, your talent and your ambitions and feel hugely privileged to be able to help support and play a role in enabling your dreams and expanding your horizons and experience.


Once you have completed the Short Network course, you will become part of the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to events such as career and skills talks and further opportunities to attend courses to advance your learning and film experience both with the BFI and other organisations. We also have links with key industry production companies such as Lucas Films and work with them to provide entry level career opportunities for BFI Film Academy graduates.

what will i do on the course?

  • 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

  • Begin to make great new contacts

  • Review short films

  • Experience immersive 360 filmmaking

  • Work towards achieving a Silver Arts Award qualification

  • Be required to plan your work, create and maintain your own online portfolio

  • Attend course sessions both face to face and online

when and where?

The BFI Film Academy Chester will run during the October half term holiday 2021 with a few additional Saturday sessions before and after the the holiday week. Applications will open on 1 September 2021. Our Academy in Chester is a short, intensive course which usually last between 7-10 days and takes place on Saturdays and during college holidays at the Storyhouse in Chester. We work in partnership with University of Chester's and Cheshire College's Film and Media departments giving participants access to industry standard equipment and facilities. Elements of the course may be delivered online if necessary after being risk assessed and taking into account any current requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

The course will run on the following dates:

Saturdays 16 October, 6 November and every day from Saturday 23 - 30 October. There will also be a Celebration Screening Event of your films one Saturday in November or December, hopefully at the Storyhouse.

who are we looking for?

We are looking for 20 young people aged 16-19 who want to find out more about film and think they might like to try for the first time, or further develop, their filmmaking skills. Previous filmmaking experience isn’t necessary. We welcome applications from all young people including those eligible for free school meals, disabled young people including those with non-visible disabilities and mental health conditions and young people who may experience racism.

how much does it cost?

BFI Film Academy Chester costs £25 to attend. If you think you will struggle to find this amount or might need assistance covering other associated course costs such as travel and childcare, please still apply – if your application is successful, we’ll make sure you can attend - there is a bursary fund to cover these costs where eligible. More information about who can, and how to apply for bursaries, can be found here.

how do i apply?

There's a simple online form to complete if you would like to apply to the BFI Film Academy Chester here https://form.jotform.com/212383856060354 or complete your application below. Applications open on 1 September 2021.