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The British Film Institute experience: How the BFI can help a young aspiring filmmaker.


Whether you’re aspiring to become the next big film director, script writer or film producer, the British Film Institute (BFI), has many opportunities to help you learn more about your craft. The BFI will also help you refine your skills, no matter what part of the film industry you’re looking to specialise in.

For every aspiring person hoping to one day to crack the film industry, the BFI Film Academy residential programme is a great stepping stone to achieving that illustrious film career. The two-week residential programme, aims at give young aspiring filmmakers and actors a unique opportunity to work alongside for two weeks industry professionals to make short films.

The 2013 programme was held earlier in March at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. Kiran Kana was one of the lucky fifty-four chosen to participate in the residential programme. When I asked her about her BFI experience, she said ‘They help by giving talks, which are delivered by industry professionals and personnel. Though, my experience was produced by the National Film and Television School, the BFI were a massive support throughout. I could tell immediately, that the BFI love to support regional academies. They’ve also kept in touch with me, and continue to provide me with helpful advice. It was an amazing experience and the films we created at the academy were all showcased at the BFI, which was an added bonus.’

Kiran makes the BFI experience sound, well there’s no other word than, incredible, and it really is. The BFI experience will not only educate you in the many specialisms of the film industry, but it will also set your imagination alive, through the short films that you go onto produce. If you’re aiming to crack the film industry, why are you waiting, though it might be a little early to apply for the 2014 programme, it couldn’t hurt having a look, and familiarising yourself with the BFI Film Academy, could it? (Check it out right here.)

But the BFI has more experiences for young filmmakers than its residential programme; there are the BFI Future Film monthly events to consider. Together with partner IdeasTap, BFI aim to ‘build future filmmakers.’ There are numerous opportunities that will help build and refine your film craft. Coming this August the BFI’s Future Film, The Fallen is being showcased and not to forget there’s also a talk by Charlie Higson, an actor, and author of zombie series The Enemy. The Fallen is a gothic, dark zombie thriller which has been scripted, directed and produced by young filmmakers. Details on how to book a ticket for The Fallen showing and the Charlie Higson talk can be found here.

However, we know that not everyone wants to sit back with some popcorn and watch a young master class on the big screen; they want to experience the scripting, the directing and the producing for themselves. And luckily for these types of people the BFI have provided the answer, and it can be found here in their Future Film: DIY Filmmaking Fortnight. Being held at the BFI Southbank film centre, this is a two-week crash-course that will culminate in you producing your very own short gothic film. Of course there will be help on hand with the production and sound editing, but other than that you and your fellow filmmakers will be in control of the script, the directing and producing. If you fancy producing a short gothic film, and having it showcased on the big screen in front of industry professionals, then what are you waiting for. Check out details right here on how to apply.

The opportunities that I’ve listed here are just the tip of the ice-berg of initiatives that the BFI have on offer to help young aspiring filmmakers. If you haven’t read something here that doesn’t interest you, then check out the BFI’s Education and Research webpages. On these webpages you’ll find all the opportunities that the BFI offers young filmmakers of all specialisms and all ages. The British Film Institute is full of experiences, and now is the time to take full advantage of them.

BFI by Sandip

By Sandip Kana.
He enjoys playing sports and socialising with friends. Sandip is a writer, and aspires to be a journalist one day.