BFI Film Academy Alumni Attend Prestigious Residential at National Film and Television School

BFI Film Academy Alumni Attend Prestigious Residential at National Film and Television School

This spring, six students from our three BFI Film Academies attended a BFI specialist skills residential in Film Production hosted at the prestigious National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield near London. Students Sean Og Morrow, Jessica Buchanan, Charlie Dobbin, Eoin Brennan, Ben Roberts & Eoin Heaney all served as crew on brand new short films across the two-week residential.

Under the guidance of almost 50 leading industry professionals, they were awarded craft roles in directing, producing, cinematography, script writing, sound and production design. Each brought their own skills developed at Nerve Centre to tell new stories as part of a team of young creatives from all across the UK.

The National Film and Television School hosts reflected that the participants’ journey on the residential as collaborators was as important as the final films. Learning to work as part of a group on a production, developing communication, critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork are essential employability skills needed to work in the industries.

The six films completed at the National Film and Television School went on to premiere at BFI Southbank in London. The experience has been life changing for each of the students with strong friendships and creative connections made.

Speaking about their experience, Jessica Buchanan of the Derry~Londonderry Academy said:

"I am so thankful to Nerve Centre, without whom none of this would have been possible, and of course to the BFI for running amazing programs and creating opportunities for young filmmakers such as myself".

Aspiring editor Charlie Dobbin also expressed their gratitude:

"I am very grateful I got accepted… thank you to BFI Film Academy for offering this and to Nerve Centre — because I would not have achieved this without them!"

Eoin Brennan of the Belfast Academy said:

“To have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to participate in the residential course, was something I could have only dreamt of. To work on such a big collaborative film project is a valuable experience, and a privilege. Special thanks to Nerve Centre in Belfast!”

Ben Roberts of the AMMA BFI Academy added:

“I really loved the course and had the best experience making new friends, doing masterclasses and learning lots of new things”.

BFI Film Academy’s impact on our participants extends well beyond their time at our Nerve Centre courses. A 2023 impact report commissioned by Nerve Centre to evaluate the BFI Film Academies in Northern Ireland showed the following outcomes:

  • 65% of participants across the programmes came from an area of disadvantage

  • 80% of participants state that they have improved their understanding of technical and creative skills required by screen industries

  • 100% stated they understand the interpersonal and employability skills needed to work in the screen industries;

  • 90% stated they intend to be working in the Screen Industries within the next 5 years.

The experience of working in a team to develop a film has really inspired these young people to work in the screen industries. Active learning engages and inspires participants through collaboration and learning by doing. An intensive delivery model has strong outcomes on soft skill development which reflects the working needs of the sector.

Learn more about BFI Film Academy at Nerve Centre here.