TUESDAY 25 AUG 2015 1:52 PM


The BFI, O2 and GoThinkBig have partnered to give a group of young people in the UK all-expenses-paid access to BFI Academy, the BFI’s filmmaking school.

SUFFRAGETTE film director, Sarah Gavron, is backing the programme, and hopes it will encourage more young women into the film industry.

The BFI Academy offers work experience opportunities, coaching and mentoring to help the chosen students create three outstanding short films that will ultimately be screened during the 59th BFI London Film Festival in October. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 will have the opportunity to apply for 24 work experience opportunities, across eight filmmaking roles. At the end of the week-long residential programme, the three short films will be unveiled during a special screening of SUFFRAGETTE, the film that is opening this year’s London Film Festival.

Despite the fact that a high percentage of the most successful and profitable UK films are written or directed by women, research released by the BFI indicates that just 11% of UK films released between 2010-2012 were directed by women, and 16% of those films were written by women. GoThinkBig, a website dedicated to helping young people gain valuable skills through work experience and careers advice in some of the hardest to break industries, is particularly focused on getting young women to apply for the BFI Academy residential programme, although entries from young men are also welcome.

Tracey Herald, head of community at O2 says, “At O2, we’re committed to creating amazing opportunities to showcase young people’s talent and enable them to break into careers they’ll love. We’re excited to be working in partnership with BFI and Pathe, to support the launch of the SUFFRAGETTE feature film, giving ambitious young people the chance to learn more about the film industry. The spirit of SUFFRAGETTE is about fighting for access to opportunity – so it’s wonderful to be able to bring this to life by creating opportunities for young people to learn more about the film industry and get their first break.”

GoThinkBig was launched by O2 and Bauer Media in 2012. By the end of 2015 the programme will have offered 30,000 experience and skills opportunities to 16-24 year olds.


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