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BFI Film Academy Short Course Chester

Break Into Film

Are you aged 16-19? Passionate about film? Interested in a career in the film industry?

BFI Film Academy at Storyhouse (Chester) is for you!

We will also welcome 20-25 year olds to this course if they have an EHC plan.

BFI Film Academy offers opportunities for ambitious 16-25 year olds, anywhere in the UK, to get to know more about film and how to make a career in the screen industries. Delivered at over 50 locations across the UK and supported by the Department for Education, National Lottery, Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen, the introductory hands-on filmmaking course in Chester for young people aged 16-19 will help you build knowledge and skills and show you the different pathways into the industry whether you want to test the water or improve your existing skills.

Storyhouse and Reel Solutions are very proud of our excellent track record of inspiring the next generation of filmmakers and crew – we believe in your enthusiasm, your talent and your ambitions and feel hugely privileged to be able to help support and play a role in enabling your dreams and expanding your horizons and experience. Many of our former participants are now working in a range of roles in film, TV and XR. Reel Solutions have been delivering film schools to young people in partnership with the BFI since the start of the BFI Film Academy scheme in 2011.

In October 2017 Reel Solutions delivered the first BFI Film Academy in the UK to focus on immersive filmmaking. Here’s a snapshot of the course and what the participants thought.

BFI Film Academy Short Course Chester provides the very highest quality film skills training focused on Virtual Production (VP) and immersive filmmaking to talented young people. You’ll have fun with filmmaking processes, gain confidence, new skills and learn more about careers in the thriving new part of the industry.

During the pandemic immersive filmmaking, particularly for games, was one of the few areas of the screen industries which experienced massive growth. As more cultural activities continue to move online, never has there been a better time to skill up in this new emerging field of filmmaking.

Once you have completed the Short Course, you will become part of the growing BFI Film Academy alumni network with access to events such as career and skills talks and further opportunities to attend courses to advance your learning and film experience both with the BFI and other organisations. We also have links with key industry production companies and work with them to provide entry level career opportunities for BFI Film Academy graduates. 


The BFI Film Academy Short Course Chester will run during the October half term holiday 2023 with a few additional Saturday and week day evening sessions before and after the the holiday week. In order to complete your Silver Arts Award we will also be running some Tuesday evening sessions after production week. Applications will open on 1 September 2023. Our Academy in Chester is a short, intensive course which usually last between 7-10 days and takes place at Storyhouse in Chester. We give participants access to industry standard equipment and facilities. Elements of the course will be delivered online but the majority of the course will be face to face. 

The course will run on the following dates:

All day Saturday 14 October, every day from Saturday 21 to Friday 27 October and Tuesday evenings 31 October, 7, 14 and 21 November 2023. There will also be a Celebration Screening Event of your films on Sunday 10 December at Storyhouse. 


We are looking for 20 young people aged 16-19 who want to find out more about film and think they might like to try for the first time, or further develop, their filmmaking skills. Previous filmmaking experience isn’t necessary. We welcome applications from all young people including those eligible for free school meals, disabled young people including those with non-visible disabilities and mental health conditions and young people who may experience racism.

We will also welcome 20-25 year olds to the course, if they have an EHC plan.


BFI Film Academy Chester costs £25 to attend. If you think you will struggle to find this amount or might need assistance covering other associated course costs such as travel and childcare, please still apply – if your application is successful, we’ll make sure you can attend – there is a bursary fund to cover these costs where eligibleMore information about who can, and how to apply for bursaries, can be found here.


There’s a simple online form to complete if you would like to apply to the BFI Film Academy Short Course Chester.

Click here to apply

Please get in touch if you need support with your application – we want the process to be as accessible as possible and we are more than happy to support you or adapt to accommodate individual needs. Applications are open now and close on 2 October 2023.

If you have any questions, please email


Delivery partner:

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