Filmmaking Course for 16-19's

Applications have not yet opened for the 2020-21 cohort intake of BFI Film Academy in Cumbria & North Lancashire!

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Pending the COVID-19 outbreak we hope to return later in the year so keep checking back for more details or register your interest in advance via our homepage.

Check out some Behind-the-Scenes photos from our 19-20 cohort's production "The Catfish Club"


  • Get hands-on filmmaking experience and learn from professional filmmakers and Signal staff to develop practical skills – no previous experience necessary!
  • Explore your creativity and passions in a fun, and supportive environment
  • Be part of a real film crew to create a short film, and specialise in a role (or more) of your choice! 
  • Get a cool qualification as part of the course which has come from the film and tv industry.
  • Once you have completed the course, you become part of the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to opportunities such as BAFTA mentorships, placements, work experience & other training.
  • Bursary support available!

We've now been delivering the British Film Institute's Academy course for 7 years and cover a substantial part of the North-West. We're also the only place who does so outside of a major UK city!

This intensive filmmaking course includes:

  1. Workshops & Masterclasses with visiting industry professionals in screenwriting, cinematography, directing, sound recording, editing, art department, hair and makeup and producing

  2. A two-day film shoot to get a ‘real’ experience of how a full crew operates; participants learn with industry-standard equipment & are mentored by professional film crew in the discipline of their choice.

  3. Participants will keep a production diary & write a blog of their experiences & learning to get an  accredited, industry-recognised Skillset qualification in ‘NCFE Level 2: Preparing to Work in the Film Industry.’

“I did not realise the amount of people from the industry we would get to talk to. This course has decided for me what I want to study at uni. It has given me a solid grounding.” 

– BFI 2016 Participant

Watch the video below to check out last years' course!


  • A quarter of all films IN THE WORLD produced in 2018 were made in the UK! Combined with our social media habits, the UK’s booming film industry is rapidly growing and desperately needs new talent!
  • The BFI expects 30,000 new jobs to be created over the next 5-10 years and wants more diverse voices – especially outside of London!
  • There are SO MANY types of jobs available beyond the ones you might guess: from carpenters & electricians to lawyers & promoters!
  • We’ve a track record for producing professional-level short films with our participants that have gone on to win awards and be screened AROUND THE WORLD.

“Many participants use their BFI Academy experience and references to secure university places and to get jobs in the film industry. Film is one of the big success stories in the British economy at present, and we want to make sure young people from our neck of the woods have a chance to see how it can be a viable and exciting career opportunity.”

– Signal Film & Media 

Co-Director, Kerry Kolbe

The BFI Film Academy usually runs over weekends and the October half term from September / October. The premiere screening of the film mostly takes place in the Spring of the following year.