BFI Academies and Film Lectures at FACT Liverpool.

With the announcement that the BFI are opening a film academy network across the country, it has been revealed that one of these venues to get some of the funding from the enterprise is FACT cinema in Liverpool.  This is especially good news for young students of film wanting to enter the industry or simply comment from the sidelines.

The department of education is said to be funding the network with £1 million pound a year until 2015; a massive amount of funding for film education, though perhaps not so huge when considering the number of academies being set up around the country is 24.  The arts in general however have become innovative in times of austerity and the courses will no doubt be intensive, hard work and fun.

At FACT this is handily working alongside a number of As/A level film lectures with some fantastic choices of screening (better in fact than some of the general screening choices of the coming months).   Again though, even with LJMU leading the teaching aspect in these film lectures, the A level concentration lends itself to the Freehand age group; an admirable and very important aspect of FACT but one that perhaps has too rigid a definition of young.

Vertigo, The Wicker Man, Cleo From 5 to 7 are some of the screenings planned with lectures on various aspects of the films themselves by academics from the Liverpool Screen School.  Excellent choices that people of all ages could learn from and enjoy.  The aiming at 16-19 year olds is fine but education and learning should be aimed at everyone, especially when the number of mature students at universities is at the level it is.  Learning should never stop and learning about the workings of such a constantly evolving medium as film should especially never halt or lose momentum.

However there’s no doubt that these screenings will be a massive benefit to young students of film.  The actual seven week programme of BFI academy teaching (a separate but coinciding announcement)  is said to provide technical training, industry links and other aspects that will “nurture” young filmmaker’s talent.  Whether decent filmmakers can actually be born from this boot camp practice is debatable though, coupled with the excellent screenings and lectures, there is much to gain from the coming months of events for the “young” filmmakers and students of Liverpool.

Adam Scovell

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