Applications for the 2020 edition are now open!

The BFI Film Academy provides opportunities for young people between the ages of 16–19 to develop new skills and build a career in the film industry, no matter where they live or what their background.

Delivered at the historic Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne, the BFI Film Academy Residential Programme in Screenwriting offers an amazing opportunity for 25 young UK writers to take part in an intensive training programme to kick-start a career in the film industry.

Participants will work throughout with script editors to create their own screenplay, and the programme offers:

  • An exclusive insider’s view of how to break into the film business
  • The opportunity to work with a mentor to produce your own short film script
  • Development of the craft skills necessary to succeed as a screenwriter
  • The chance to network with leading professionals working in the British film industry today

Dates for the 2020 Programme

Introductory residential weekend: Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 January 2020
Residential week: Sunday 16 – Friday 21 February 2020.
Telephone: 0191 227 5508

How to Apply 

Applicants should:

  • Demonstrate skill and enthusiasm for writing for film
  • Be able to commit to the full programme in January and February 2020 – click here for more programme details
  • Be reliable, easy to contact and ready to throw yourself into an exciting new opportunity

We welcome applications from young people from all backgrounds.

You’ll find the application form HERE.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Monday 2 December 2019.

Course fee

The Course Fee ranges from £0 to £210, which includes your accommodation and food for the duration of the residential.

Due to generous support from the Department for Education in England, Creative Scotland, Lottery funding and Northern Ireland Screen we are able to heavily subsidise the cost of fees. The true cost of providing these courses is £1,500 but the maximum you will be asked to pay is £210 if you fall into the highest income bracket. Depending on your financial circumstances we will subsidise some of the Course Fee or all of it.

Please don’t let the cost of the residential courses deter you from applying. If a young person is offered a place on the Film Academy and can’t afford the Course Fee or other associated costs, our bursary scheme can help them – if you have the talent we will make sure you can attend. For more information please CLICK HERE to download the FAQs or email

The British Film Institute wishes to ensure that the programmes it funds reflect all aspects of diversity and support equality of opportunity. It also seeks to make a positive difference to diversity in the film industry in future. We therefore particularly welcome applications from young people who:

  • Are of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic background
  • Live in a household with a low income, or are in care
  • Have a disability of any nature

Each individual application will be judged on its own merit.