Curated by Owen Franklin, the annual Bristol Film Festival arrives in Bristol from 11 – 13 March.  As part of the festival, the Young Film Academy will be offering a workshop for budding filmmakers.

This year’s Bristol Film Festival will showcase classic films as well as a ‘Made in Bristol’ series which aims to give local Bristol filmmakers a platform to present their work. There will also be opportunities to take part in film workshops and attend film screenings with live introductions and Q&A sessions.

James Walker, director of Young Film Academy tells us more about the ‘Make a Film in a Day’ series which will be in Bristol on Sunday 13 March.  Aimed at 10 – 16 year olds, the idea is to give young people the chance to immerse themselves in the process of filmmaking from initial conception of a creative idea, to casting and characterisation to shooting and finding a film location.  Budding filmmakers will also be expected to come up with the soundtrack to their film, with a special screening of each film to be aired at the end of the day at the Arnolfini.

The idea of condensing the whole process into a retracted period of time, is hoped to bring out a sense of urgency and potency within the creative work – as James explains:

“The kids are amazing – if you jump into it with a load of adults, they procrastinate.  Kids just jump straight in.  We believe in inducing a crisis – if you give kids three weeks, they will invariably do nothing for two and a half weeks, so you might as well induce the crisis straight away.”

“It’s great to be back in Bristol, we do a lot of our post-production down at Films at 59, we love it there, it’s a great place.”

Young Film Academy (YFA) provides filmmaking courses across the UK, as well as offering outreach work and community film projects for young people aged 6 – 19 years.  Based in London, and now in their tenth year, their work compliments the national curriculum as well as acting as an incubator for emerging talent.

“It’s great to be back in Bristol, we do a lot of our post-production down at Films at 59, we love it there, it’s a great place.  It’s a real pleasure for us to come and do this workshop.”  James says.

The ‘Make a Film in a Day’ workshop aims to generate creativity within young people as well as teaching practical, hands on skills that are essential to taking those first steps in filmmaking.

“Basically we’re going to do the impossible.  We’ll start at 10am with nothing whatsoever and the kids will work together to come up with a story, to work out the characterisation, to understand the basics of operating camera for cinema, they’ll shoot their movie, edit it, soundtrack it, all ready to be screened at the end of the day.”  James says.

The results in past experience have always been unique – opening up a whole new realm of the imagination:

“We’ve had some amazing stories.  We really believe in the kids coming up with their own material.  We’ve had all kinds of stories – featuring wizards, crazy monkeys and psychotic builders.  There have been stories about runaway rabbits, infected by a virus.  All sorts.”  James says.


The course will take place between 10am – 5pm on Sunday 13 March at the Arnolfini.  Places are limited, so book early.  Tickets:  £30 (includes all equipment and tuition).

It is advised to bring a packed lunch on the day.

For more information and to book:  http://bristolfilmfestival.com/event/make_a_film_in_a_day/

For more information on Young Film Academy:  www.youngfilmacademy.co.uk