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The BFI Film Academy Craft Residential delivered by the NFTS has places for 66 young people aged 16-19 making short films under the tuition of industry experts. It’s a really exciting opportunity!


All applicants for places in the BFI Film Academy residential at the NFTS were sent e-mails about the outcome of their application on Friday 14 February. If you applied but have not received your notification, please check your spam folder and then e-mail bfifilmacademy@nfts.co.uk to let us know.

The NFTS is looking for talented filmmakers and passionate film fans aged 16-19 years old to join our BFI Film Academy Craft Residential.

If you’re aged 16-19 and you are committed to working in the film industry, then this is the opportunity for you. We’re looking for 66 of the nation’s most promising young filmmakers to take part in a 2 week film academy project in which you will work with top industry professionals to make short films. You will also have masterclasses with top auteur and commercial filmmakers and learn a craft specialism, such as directing or sound. The academy is open to those who enrol in one of the regional film academies and to others who have the necessary talent and enthusiasm.

The residential will take place from 6-17 April 2014 at the NFTS and at Lane End Conference centre nearby, with a pre-weekend residential of activities on 15 and 16 March at the same venues, so if you want to take part you must be available on all those dates. Candidates for Screenwriting have an earlier application deadline, because they will be writing the scripts for the short films and will additionally attend a weekend course at the NFTS on 14/15 December 2013.

The only costs associated with the craft residential are for your travel to and from the residentials and a £99 administration fee payable on invitation should your application be accepted. Bursaries to cover costs will be available on application to invited applicants who cannot afford the fee or travel costs.

To apply for this one-off opportunity you should:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 19 on the first day of the academy programme. You must be a UK resident and able to commit to the programme for its duration
  • Have a passion or talent for filmmaking
  • Have evidence of this talent either in scripts/treatments or online material, such as videos which you have made or to which you have contributed
  • Be free on 15/16 March and from 6-17 April (+14/15 December if applying for Screenwriting)
  • Be committed to a career in the film industry
  • Have a teacher, regional film officer or industry professional who knows your work and is prepared to write a supporting reference
  • The application deadline has now passed


The Craft Residential itself largely takes place at two venues - the NFTS and Lane End, a conference venue outside High Wycombe, with excellent accommodation, facilities and grounds.

All applications will be reviewed by the Project Lead and by other members of the selection team with film industry backgrounds and the successful applicants for Screenwriting notified on Monday 18th November and invited to the Screenwriting weekend on 14/15th December. Applicants for all other Craft specialisms will be notified on Monday 24th February and invited to the pre-residential weekend 15/16 March.

In addition to screenwriting, the craft specialisms the residential will cover are:

You must select a first and second choice in your application.

Craft residential participants should come from a wide range of backgrounds and we actively encourage applicants on this basis, aiming for a good gender balance, a diverse range of ethnic groups and to include participants with disabilities. Facilities are accessible to all and all necessary support can be in place for the start of the Craft Residential.

Latest News: BFI Film Academy Screenwriters Complete Weekend Retreat at the NFTS (December 2013)
To see what happened at last years BFI Film Academy delivered by the NFTS please watch the ‘behind the scenes’ film below.

Writers Retreat weekend

Selected writers will work with NFTS tutors and graduates to develop their selected treatment into a full short film script. The weekend will include master classes and practical workshops.

Pre-residential weekend

The aims for this weekend are to get participants used to each other, the tutors and the main settings of the Craft Residential, so that they can hit the ground running at the main event, as well as establishing the six groups in which the participants will work for the majority of the main Craft Residential through some team building activity. Groups will also work with their tutors on interpreting the script and agreeing a shooting script. By the end of the weekend NFTS production managers will have a clear idea of the requirements for the projects so that they can source actors, locations and props before the main craft residential commences.

The weekend will finish in the early afternoon, giving participants time to get back home ready for school/college the next day.

Between the pre-residential weekend and the main Craft Residential, participants will join a closed facebook group to continue dialogue about the projects.

Main Craft Residential

There will be a masterclass programme across the 11 days, where film-makers come to the NFTS to share their experience and screen examples of their work. NFTS tutors will lead craft specialist workshops for groups of around 10 students and there will be presentations and panels on the roles of sound, art direction, the film business and marketing. Much of the work will be in the six production groups, planning the short films and later going out onto location to shoot, followed by two days editing. There will be trips to studios, such as Pinewood, to the BFI National Film Archive, and to London to visit both the National Gallery and BAFTA.

All meals and single room accommodation will be provided throughout the Craft Residential, with minibuses to take teams out onto location and coaches between the conference centre and the NFTS daily. On the final day, all participants will travel to the BFI South Bank in London for a screening of their finished short films for friends and family and industry representatives with an opportunity for networking thereafter.

Alumni Network

Throughout the Craft Residential, participants will be encouraged to think forward to future opportunities. With the support of a designated alumni officer, you will develop a Professional Development Profile, prepare for future work experience and the opportunity for involvement in NFTS summer Grad films. The alumni officer will work with industry partners to secure opportunities for the participants once the Craft Residential is over, including shadowing, placements, internships and apprenticeship opportunities. There will be further opportunities to attend events and showcase your work in the months after the craft residential.

Opportunities which alumni from the first residential have had include: work experience at Sheffield doc fest, composing for various short films, runner on set of Rizzle Kicks music video, PR for film-maker Kevin McDonald’s latest project, internship at September films, work placement at Tin Can Island Productions, working on NFTS grad projects.

There have also been networking events at BAFTA, Creative England and Film London, several participants helping out at film festivals and short films from the residential accepted for various festivals including Portobello and the British Urban film festivals.


All applicants for places in the BFI Film Academy residential at the NFTS were sent e-mails about the outcome of their application on Friday 14 February. If you applied but have not received your notification, please check your spam folder and then e-mail bfifilmacademy@nfts.co.uk to let us know.

Information for Parents and Carers

If you have any questions please email bfifilmacademy@nfts.co.uk