Amayna Solaiman is one of the participants on our sixth BFI Film Academy. Having almost completed the course, we asked Amayna to reflect on her time on the academy…
My Experience at the BFI Film Academy
I’ll start off by saying that I have a massive appreciation for this programme. I’ve learnt things that I wouldn’t have learnt for another couple of years into my future; I definitely feel as though I have a head start in the film industry with taking part in this course. For people my age, it’s definitely not something you’d get at school and it’s not something you’d get from your local youth club – the quality of this course will leave you in awe.
Everything was on a professional scale and the mentors appreciated the effort all newbies to the subject, like myself, put into it. I walked into the first meeting with no clue about the history of cinema and I did feel like I was under qualified but that doubt was later squashed when I started talking to the other participants. Quite a few were just like me; they had no idea who Wes Anderson was either!
I’ve made some really good friends and the entire group gets on well. I’ll tell you now, everyone on the course this year will go very far in terms of the film industry and media management. This is great because I now have useful contacts for future projects. The atmosphere is lively and the room instantly fills up with success every time we all put our heads together and come up with something.
The workshops were a massive help because it helped me confirm which area I’d like to go into; say hello to Amayna, an aspiring film director. With cinematography, directing and sound workshops, everyone’s personalities and styles started to come to the surface. I could see awesome cinematographers, I could see talented sound engineers about to be born and I could see young directors finding their voices. I could see young people, just like me, taking their very first defining steps into their careers. This was most definitely an eye-opening experience for me because I’ve learnt so much in one workshop alone than I have in years of independent study.
Like I mentioned before, everything was professional; for filming we had a professional set with awesome equipment, you can’t find this level of quality anywhere else. The days I spent on set were amazing, there was room for banter amongst all the professional tasks we had to carry out. There was a lot of banter between the crew, we even had a dance battle at one point.
If you’re thinking of applying, I would definitely do so. You gain some really useful skills and learn a lot of essential pieces of information that you won’t get anywhere else. I hope this was helpful. If you apply, good luck!
Find out more about our BFI Film Academy, head here.
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