Academy award and four-time BAFTA award-winning director, writer and producer Asif Kapadia wowed this year’s BFI Film Academy participants with a masterclass as they took part in the opening weekend of the Craft Residential course, which is delivered by the NFTS. The students are made up of 66 of the nation’s most promising young filmmakers aged 16-19 and the weekend included inspirational talks, team building and practical workshops. (If you would like to find out more about studying at the NFTS, have a look at the wide range of open days we have coming up and book your place here!) 

Asif Kapadia won a ‘Feature Documentary’ Oscar for Amy, which documents the life and death of British songwriter, Amy Winehouse, and is described as ‘piercingly sad’ by The Telegraph. His documentary, Senna about Brazilian motor-racing legend Ayrton Senna, was a huge international box office hit and won multiple awards including two BAFTAs, ‘Best Documentary’ at the London Critics Circle, the BIFA award for ‘Best Documentary’ and the Audience Award for ‘Best International Feature’ at the Los Angeles Film Festival. If you are a keen documentary maker, have a look at our Directing Documentary MA, which has an application deadline of the 4th May 2017 - more info here.

Following Asif’s inspirational Q&A session, participants were divided into six groups. They spent the weekend working with their tutors on interpreting the script and agreeing a shooting script for the short films so they can hit the ground running for the main Craft Residential week in April. Students on the course specialise in screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, production sound, editing and production design to reflect a real filmmaking environment.

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar, said: “We were overwhelmed with applications for this year’s BFI Film Academy, so the group of young people who were lucky enough to be selected really are the brightest and the best. They all really impressed us during the opening weekend so we look forward to seeing the resulting short films in Easter and wish them huge success for their future careers.”

The course is supported by the Department for Education, the National Lottery, Creative Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen. The final films will be screened at the BFI Southbank in April.

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