BFI Film Academy Bursaries

Our BFI Film Academy Bursaries are available for aspiring young film programmers and filmmakers part of a Young Film Programming Group to grow their professional networks by attending industry events and training outside of their immediate locality.

These bursaries are supported by National Lottery funding and can be used for a range of different activities. Previous awards have seen young people attend training and networking events, professional development programmes, industry masterclasses, as well as local, regional and national film festivals. Read more about their experiences below.

Previous Bursary Recipients

“The workshop took us from the very beginnings of film invention in the late 1800s up through to more recent legacy ways of showing film before (and in some cases even still used today) the advent of compact discs and the digital age. Back then it was certainly a lot more of a physical process - using reels of film fed through projectors. The workshop showed us different sizes of film including the 16mm and 8mm that were more meant for domestic and educational usage - as well as the standard 35mm film reel that had been used in cinemas such as the Electric Palace. We learned proper handling of film reels, how to rewind them after usage, how to check for damage, and how to feed them into their relevant projectors - including a trip into the Electric Palace's own projection room.”
attending Projection Day at Electric Palace Harwich
“Being at Rich Mix made me excited to plan more diverse film events at our cinema, I was particularly inspired from watching the short film collection & listening to YFP giving a talk about his pop-up cinema, really inspiring.”
attending Film Hub South East Members Forum at Rich Mix
“In the practical session as a group we were able to learn more about Quason’s career and his go-to tips when filming live events.”
attending Bute Street Film Festival Masterclass
‘I gained a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t when making my own films. I also felt inspired by seeing people with the same resources as me, make such good films and be passionate about it. Seeing so many people making films completely by themselves, or only asking friends for help without any other professional filmmakers by their side has shown me that during the early stages it is possible to still make successful work without needing people with lots of experience in your films!’
attending BFI Future Film Festival
“Visiting BFI Flare was really valuable as it showed that our own festival (Watersprite) is not that far off from this really professional enterprise. This was quite a big point of reflection. Seeing the programming for BFI Flare, and how focused it was on screenings (particularly of debut filmmakers) rather than other ‘events’ was interesting to note for next year’s Watersprite.”
attending BFI Flare Film Festival
“The most important thing was gaining insight and inspiration from this successful festival. I was able to attend talks about the industry, chats with directors, programmers, producers, and cinematographers and talks about ‘how to get started as a filmmaker’. These topics were especially relevant to Lowestoft Film Festival when thinking about what talks and offerings we are going to have throughout the week and keeping in line with the values of discovering the undiscovered. Also, I was able to volunteer with the senior team and volunteer team at the opening and awards ceremony. It was interesting to see how the organisers managed their team of volunteers and shared varied roles between them to make a successful festival possible. These events were done flawlessly and have given me plenty of pointers on how we can create something more engaging and enjoyable at this year's Lowestoft Film Festival.”
attending Watersprite Film Festival
“We had a chance to meet Michael McDermott who coordinates the film programme for The Old Market and previously acted as Scalarama coordinator for Brighton and the surrounding area for over 4 years. Michael gave an informal talk to the group before we see the film in the cafe/bar, introducing who he is and his role at The Old Market. Michael is an alumni of Fabrica’s first ever YFP programmers group, and this is a great opportunity for the current group to see the successes and possibilities that a career in film can lead to in the local area, increasing awareness of those industry progression routes.”
attending The Old Market, Brighton
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