The BFI, O2, GoThinkBig and the team behind SUFFRAGETTE are teaming up to offer a major new work experience opportunity for young people from right across the UK.

Young people to receive coaching and mentoring from the BFI and members of the team behind star-studded new movie SUFFRAGETTE, which is opening the 59th BFI London Film Festival in October, to create three outstanding short films to screen during the Festival

24 work experience opportunities, across eight filmmaking roles, will be made available to every young person aged 18 – 24 regardless of gender through work experience platform GoThinkBig, including director, editor and screenwriter

The BFI and GoThinkBig, in partnership with major motion picture SUFFRAGETTE, today announce an exciting opportunity for young people right across the UK to get a highly sought after place at the prestigious BFI Film Academy. During an intensive, all expenses paid residential programme, the successful applicants will receive expert training from professionals working across the film industry, from screenwriters to directors and beyond, before going on to create three short films which will be unveiled during a special screening of SUFFRAGETTE, the film that is opening this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

From Friday 21 August until Wednesday 16 September, young people aged between 18 and 24 can apply at for eight different roles covering every aspect of film production, from director and screenwriter to lighting technician and wardrobe. Successful applicants will be selected by an expert panel on 25th September and, shortly afterwards, will be invited to the BFI London Film Festival where they’ll embark on the intensive week long residential course with the BFI Film Academy. This includes two days of movie masterclasses from the BFI and some of the team behind SUFFRAGETTE before the young people split into teams to create three short films, which will screen ahead of a special presentation of SUFFRAGETTE on 15th October.

Sarah Gavron headshot

In the spirit of the 2015 film, SUFFRAGETTE, which is written, directed and produced by an outstanding female team, GoThinkBig hopes to encourage more young women to consider a career in the film industry through this special opportunity. Research released by the BFI indicates women are under-represented in key roles within the film industry: just 11% of UK films released between 2010-2012 were directed by women, with 16% of those films being written by women. But analysis of the box office performance of those films indicates that employing more women in writing and/or directing roles makes sound business sense for the film industry, as  a high percentage of the most successful and profitable UK films released between 2010 and 2012 had a female screenwriter and/or director attached. This opportunity is open to any young person with a passion in film regardless of gender, but GoThinkBig especially wants to see as many female applicants as possible.

Sarah Gavron the director of SUFFRAGETTE said: “The film industry is extremely difficult to get into. There are so many talented young people in all areas of film across the UK who deserve to be able to develop their skills in a real work environment. Programs like GoThinkBig offer a fantastic chance to do just that. The stats are shocking, with only a small percentage of director and writer roles being filled by women. The fact that GoThinkBig is offering 50/50 equal opportunities is a great step forward. That’s why we wanted to get involved, using the launch of our film SUFFRAGETTE, to help support young people looking to work in different areas of film.”

Tracey Herald, Head of Community at O2 said: “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.’

BFI CEO, Amanda Nevill said: “Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing the BFI able to make a contribution to opening doors and offering opportunities for the next talented generation. We know how important it is for us to do this, to nurture and support the gifted and talented, wherever in they are in the UK, because the future of our industry depends on them.”

The campaign follows in the footsteps of GoThinkBig’s partnership with Rizzle Kicks in 2013, where 75 young people in the UK were recruited to work on the set of the music video for the band’s hit track Lost Generation. In 2014, GoThinkBig teamed up with Nile Rodgers and Rudimental, seeing 70 young people recruited to remix and re-release CHIC’s classic hit record ‘Le Freak’.

Launched in 2012 by O2 and Bauer Media, is a website dedicated to helping young people gain valuable skills through work experience and careers advice. Unlike other job sites GoThinkBig provides contacts and work experience opportunities in the hardest to break industries.  More than 250,000 young people use the site to browse work placements and by the end of 2015 the programme will have offered 30,000 experience and skills opportunities to 16-24 year olds.

The BFI created the BFI Film Academy three years ago, to give talented young people with a passion for film the opportunity to develop new and exciting skills and be part of the UK’s future film industry, no matter where they live or what their background.

For more information on how to apply visit or follow @GoThinkBig.


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Once failed wannabe actress, Ex-music industry veteran who once dabbled in Artist Management, and now Film Journalist extraordinaire. My love for the arts has seen my fingers in many pies but my love of Film won the battle. Current work credits include Film Editor at Flavourmag, Film Journalist/Writer at HeyUGuys, London Live's London Film Club and DIY Magazine. Previous work credits contributor at The Voice Newspaper, FlickFeast, MyFilmClub and film review slot on radio.