BFI Film Academy Short Course is an online course for 16 – 19 year olds that gives you the opportunity to explore and experiment with a range of animation and film making techniques, working together to watch, experiment, create and learn more about animation and film in a variety of forms. 

The programme includes hands-on workshops where you will be given the tools needed to develop an idea from rough sketch to big screen.

Skills covered include script writing / model making / animation / lighting for camera / sound design and more!

The course will also include masterclasses from amazing animators and directors.

We will have fun with filmmaking processes, gain confidence, new skills and learn more about careers in the screen industry.  

Create a digital portfolio and work towards achieving a Silver Arts Award qualification.

Our Academy takes place online so you can join from wherever you live in Scotland

The BFI Film Academy Short Course will run ONLINE during the October half term holiday 2023 with an additional Saturday session before the holiday week and some evening sessions afterwards through October and November.

The course will run on the following dates:

All day Saturday 7 & 14 October; every day from Monday 16 – Saturday and the following evenings 24, 26 October, 7, 16 November 2023 7-9pm plus Saturday 18 November 2023

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.  


We are looking for 20 young people aged 16-19 who are interested in animation & film. Previous 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. 


There’s a simple online form to complete if you would like to apply to take part in the BFI Film Academy here or complete your application below. 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 Monday 25 September 2023.


BFI Film Academy Short Course costs £25 to attend. If you think you will struggle to find this amount or might need assistance covering other associated course costs including 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 eligible. For more information about who can, and how to apply for bursaries,

Special Guests

Wendy Godridge is a Scottish animator and director.

Having had a long career in stop motion working with Aardman Animations among others and has moved back to Edinburgh where she is an animator and animation director working in CG animation.

Seamus Malone

Seamus Malone is an Irish animator and director.

As well as being senior animator/ animation director and series director at Aardman he has travelled the world directing international teams of digital animators on such projects as Watership Down, The Moomins and the latest Aardman series Lloyd of The Flies.

Virpi Kettu

Virpi Kettu is an award-winning director, animator and digital artist working for over two decades extensively in Europe and Canada. Virpi animated for Aardman Animations on “Wallace and Gromit”, ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Creature Comforts’ and for The National Film Board of Canada, DreamWorks, and Universal Pictures.

Selina Wagner is an award winning animator and director specialising in storytelling, design and animation. Selina grew up on the remote islands of Orkney, then moved to the Scottish mainland to study animation at Edinburgh College of Art. She has been a freelance animation director for over 14 years and created over 40 TV commercials and countless commercial short films for clients including the BBC. In 2017 she was commissioned by the Scottish Film Talent Network to create ‘Spindrift’ which went on to be screened at over 40 international film festivals and was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for Best Animation. 

She is currently in development on her first feature film.

Creating music videos she has crossed both sides of the Atlantic, working with artists including RTJ, Father John Misty, Radiohead and Katy Perry.

A collaborative film from the 2020 BFI Film Academy:

What our students thought:

Incredible, life-changing, exciting

“Inspirational, educational, fantastic!”

“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had and it’s great to meet loads of like minded people…”

“My favourite part was working with experts and getting pro advice.”

I used my Arts Award Portfolio in my application for Television Studies NQ at Glasgow Clyde, you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve received an unconditional offer for the course that I will definitely be accepting.”