The Team

YFA co-founders James Walker and Ed Boase made their first film together aged 17. Since then, they have been on a mission to help young people harness digital technologies to achieve positive personal, social and educational outcomes through filmmaking.

YFA provides trainers for a range of organisations, including the BBC and the Tate Gallery. 

JAMES WALKER

Director / Founder YFA

James graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, with first class honours. An awardwinning scriptwriter, James has been commissioned to write for the National Theatre, London, and his writing credits include Born to be Wilde (BBC World Service), 'One Small Leap' (Best Short, Raindance), Proving Mr Jennings (published, Oberon Books) and Blooded (Magma Pictures, 2011).

 

ED BOASE

Director / Founder YFA

Ed made his first film, Taboo, aged 17. Since then his films have screened in over fifty festivals worldwide, and won awards including Best UK Short (Raindance Film Festival), Le Grand Prix Cocotte-Minute (Brest International Film Festival) and Best Director (Capalbio International Film Festival). Blooded, released in the UK by Revolver Entertainment in 2011, is his directorial feature film debut.

 

NIC SHEARER

Nic is an award-winning short film maker and script writer who has also worked closely alongside such distinguished film makers as Michael Winterbottom, Lynne Ramsay and Stephen Frears. He is a graduate of the director’s stream at the National Film and Television School where he was a David Lean Scholar and is also currently involved in film in education, working with young people from vulnerable backgrounds and both young and adult offenders and ex-offenders.

 

SAMANTHA HARRIE

Samantha has made numerous award-winning, short fiction films including a nomination for a Royal Television Society, Student Television Award for her 30-minute black comedy ‘Love Letters’. She trained at the National Film and Television School, and is currently developing her first feature film with the Film London ‘Microwave’  film scheme. Samantha has delivered and facilitated film workshops to a wide variety of schools, youth groups, educational and public organisations since 1998 and also mentors young filmmakers.

 

TIM DELAP

Tim has just finished filming a role in the major new TV series Titanic - Blood & Steel for HBO and has also recently returned from a stint at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin where he was playing Yolland in Brian Friel’s Translations. His television credits include Foyles War, Midsomer Murders, To The Ends of the Earth, Silent Witness and The Four Seasons. An actor with 10 years of stage and screen experience, Tim also has a passion for education and, as well as working for YFA, also runs courses and workshops for the National Youth Theatre.

 

TRISTAN DAWS

Tristan joined Young Film Academy in 2007 after studying at the National Film and Television School as a director. He has run several courses across the UK and at Fairbridge, a charity for disadvantaged young people, where his group won the award for best film at the First Light Awards with their short drama ‘How to be a Bad Man’.

 

KEIDRYCH WASLEY

Keidrych Wasley works as a freelance Director of Photography. Since graduating from the National Film and Television School he has been shooting short films, music videos and promos amongst many other things. Keidrych's work has been shown at many film festivals worldwide, earning award nominations for his Cinematography.

 

IRIS HELFER

Iris is an award winning filmmaker whose short films have screened in festivals internationally. A graduate of the UCLA Directors Masters Program, she has more than 10 years of production experience as well as film education. Since relocating to London, Iris has been working as a freelance Assistant Director and film tutor while developing her first feature.

 

TONY COMLEY

Tony Comley is an animator and animateur. He has directed documentaries for Channel 4, toured and taught with the Tate Gallery to make animation for Aardman using kids creativity, and worked extensively for the BBC. He is currently creating a kids cartoon about the exploits of the Galaxy's bravest panda.

 

JAKE HARDERS

Jake Harders is an award winning actor who has worked in film, TV, radio, and theatre. He trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, where he has also taught. He has worked in the UK in the West End, the Chichester Festival and Shakespeare's Globe; in the USA; Iceland; Europe; Russia with Cheek by Jowl; and in Australia with Headlong.

 

RICHARD PEPPER

As an actor, Richard Pepper has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. He has recently worked for the BBC, ITV and is currently touring A Midsummer Night's Dream & The Comedy of Errors with the award winning theatre company Propeller. He also directs and teaches regularly on the BA Hons Acting course at the Italia Conti Drama School.

 

JOHN WILLIAMS

John has 12 years of experience directing live action, animation and visual effects. He’s created music videos for Coldplay, Radiohead and The Offspring, winning two MTV Awards. He’s also written & directed short films winning multiple international awards and recently directed Magic, a comedy drama for Channel 4. John has just completed his first feature script Here on Earth, the story of one man's mission to the moon and has a host of other exciting projects in development.

 

HARRY MICHELL

Harry Michell is a writer, director and comedian. He gigs regularly in London and is a veteran of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, co-writing and performing several critically acclaimed sketch shows. In 2012 he was president of the Cambridge Footlights where his musical-comedy duo I Am, I Am (finalists of the Musical Comedy Awards 2013) were formed. His first short film Guinea Pig (Aimimage Productions) is currently doing the festival rounds, and his first feature is in development.

 

CHRIS PORTER

After graduating from the three year classical acting course at Lamda, Chris has enjoyed a busy and diverse career in all areas of the industry. He has appeared on many television programmes, including Dr Who, The Bill, Footballer's Wives and Bad Girls and has been directed by David Mamet in the feature film The Winslow Boy. He regularly directs drama workshops around the country and has won awards for devising street theatre shows (National Street Entertainer 2011).

 

BEVAN WALSH

Bevan made the leap to directing fiction with his short film 'Mumbo Jumbo', starring Andrew Garfield, Tom Brooke and Javone Prince. His follow up, 'Love Does Grow on Trees', was nominated for a British Independent Film Award and singled out for praise by Danny Boyle at the ceremony. It premiered in the US at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it was named one of New York Magazine’s “Top Five Shorts at Tribeca” and was called “Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant,” by I.T. Crowd creator Graham Linehan. Bevan’s third short, 'First the Worst', premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and has since screened at film festivals worldwide. He is currently directing commercials and developing several feature film projects.

 

ROSS ARMSTRONG

Ross Armstrong trained at Warwick University and RADA. He has appeared on stage in Henry V, Hamlet, The White Devil and more at venues such as Manchester Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham REP, Chichester Festival Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse and Broadway New York. Ross has also appeared on screen in Mr Selfridge, Titanic, DCI Banks, Spooks, Doctors, Love and Marriage, Jonathan Creek and Foyles War.

 

JAMES PARKES

James is a graduate of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), and began his training with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. He has extensive experience working in television, film and theatre; including Alan Bennett’s play Enjoy at the Gielgud Theatre, Sir Peter Hall’s Company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Theatre Royal Bath, Wakefield Theatre Royal & Opera House, Chichester Festival Theatre, Vienna’s English Theatre, and numerous live radio plays with The Wireless Theatre Company. James is also Director of ‘West End Walks’, a theatreland walking tour using professional actors to tell the stories of London’s glittering West End.

 

DEBS PATERSON

Debs is a director and writer whose award-winning first feature Africa United was released internationally in 2010. She studied Literature at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, after doing her A levels in South India and GCSEs in North Yorkshire, and has traveled, lived and filmed all round the world.

 

RICHARD ELSON

Richard is an accomplished director for drama, documentaries and theatre. His work ranges from the hit BBC children’s show M.I.High, to West End theatre and award winning documentaries. As an editor, Richard has worked on features, commercials and broadcast dramas such as Poirot and Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

 

IAN ARYEH

Ian is a multi award-nominated filmmaker, including a recent Royal Television Society Student Award nomination for his comedy Doubt on Loan. A graduate of the Directing & Producing TV course at the National Film and Television School where he was a Toledo Scholar, Ian is developing several projects with some of the UK’s leading independent comedy producers and production companies. Having worked in the US and UK, Ian continues to deliver film workshops and courses for young people with a passion for filmmaking, comedy and cake.

 

LESLEY PINDER

Lesley has worked in the film and television industry for fifteen years in a number of roles including as a Writer/Director and Script Supervisor. Lesley has written and directed numerous short films, all of which have won awards and been selected to participate in international film festivals. Lesley has facilitated a wide variety of filmmaking projects for numerous organisations. Her participants have ranged in age from 7-80 years and have come from all walks of life - from autistic teenagers to homeless and socially excluded adults. Lesley is passionate about community and collaborative filmmaking and believes that it is a wonderful tool for assisting and supporting the development of young people.

 

LUCA ROCCHINI

Luca Rocchini is an award-winning director of photography and cameraman, mostly for documentaries and dramas. He graduated from the National Film School in Dublin and has almost a decade of experience filming all over the world. Luca enjoys experimenting with his visual style, expanding his knowledge of visual arts and pushing boundaries to create unique images.

 

JOEL BENNETT

Joel studied Film and Video at London College of Communications (UAL). Since graduating Joel has worked on various TV productions and his directorial debut, award winning documentary The Father's Heart, aired on channel 4 in 2013. Joel's position as a filmmaker is fairly unique, as he also works in front of the camera as a 'bike stunt man' and has appeared in content for BBC / Film 4 / Channel 4  and other big brands and well known music artists. Joel Is passionate about film making as a medium for free speech.

 

BEN RIGHTON

Ben has worked on TV shows Doctor Who, Bones, Poirot, Lewis and Law and Order as well as many films including A Good Year, Flawless, and the recently released The Patrol which won Best Film at the Raindance Film Festival. His theatre credits include lead parts in Journey's End and King of Hearts and Ben can currently be seen on the West End playing Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps.

 

BEN TURNBULL

Ben received his first television credit as a Producer in his first year of university at Ravensbourne College. He was then headhunted to work at Academy Award winning production company Bedlam Productions with producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin and Simon Egan. He is now currently a producer looking after the drama and promo slates at HAUS Pictures, which he also co-founded in 2012. His short film 'Loyal', a 19-minute drama shot on 35mm was nominated for two BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards. His other two most recent shorts are in post production and were funded by Northern Ireland Screen and Creative England, respectively. Ben also produces and directs tv commercials and music promos.

 

GREG FINNEGAN

Greg is an actor and writer who has worked extensively in all areas of the business over the past 15 years. Television & Film work includes roles in Spooks, Blitz, The Last Detective, Winter Solstice and forthcoming two part drama, Valentine's Kiss. Greg has just finished a run playing Macbeth at the Omnibus Theatre and is currently scripting a new television drama.

 

CRAIG DEVINE

After building up a portfolio as a freelance Cinematographer Craig was awarded the "Freddie Francis scholarship" & “BAFTA Scholarship” to attend the MA Cinematography course at the National Film and Television School, studying under the guidance of Brian Tufano, BSC ('Trainspotting' , 'Billy Elliot') and the personal tutorship of Lol Crawley, BSC (“Ballast” , “Four Lions”). He graduated NFTS winning the Panalux Cinematography Award for his work on "The Friday Fund”. Craig has shot award winning short films which have screened internationally at festivals including BAFTA and RainDance. Craig has recently signed with Dench Arnold and has a reputation as one of the most exciting young cinematographers working; being recently profiled by the British Cinematographers Society magazine as one to watch.

 

ALAN PEARCE

Alan is a writer and actor who trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has for the past 15 years worked extensively in TV, Film, Theatre and Radio. He is a visiting tutor of Screen Acting at LAMDA and Lead Tutor at The Kingdom School of Arts. This year he has written and directed his first short film.

 

CHRIS VLASSIS

Chris is an award winning Film Maker, Producer and Performer. He creates content that engages and strongly connects with audiences. He's been teaching his craft for years and weaves on and off screen knowledge together with solid content delivery. He's a bright spark and brings a strong creative flare to any team, it's hotter than a mid-summer sunset in Dubai (his own words). The Australian Film Maker, now living in London is best known for his work with Nickelodeon, CSIRO and The Sydney Comedy Festival. Chris has been involved in some amazing block buster projects including, Unbroken, The Great Gatsby and most recently Mad Max - Fury Road.

 

JOSHUA DICKINSON

Joshua trained at East 15 Acting School and went on to roles in Holby City and The Mirror, and appeared alongside Simon Callow in a national tour of Chin-Chin. Last year he made his film directing debut with Opening Night Of The Living Dead which was an official selection at Horror-On-Sea Film Festival.

 

GRAHAM FOOTE

Graham is a freelance composer and professional vocalist. He is currently writing original music for several international music publishing companies. Graham was the Choir Director and Lead Vocalist on the soundtrack for “Living in the Age of Airplanes” – an IMAX documentary scored by Academy Award winning James Horner and narrated by Harrison Ford. Graham also works as a freelance arranger and orchestrator. He has worked on scores for several major Hollywood films as well as several studio releases with Grammy winning producer Simon Franglen. Professional performance credits include: Jersey Boys, The Ten Tenors, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carmen and Madame Butterfly. 

 

DAVID ROBERT ANDERSON

David is a fiction director who graduated from the London Film School, having been awarded a Skillset bursary to study there. He has written and directed numerous short films, which have screened at film festivals worldwide. During his time at LFS David was very fortunate that Ken Loach agreed to be his mentor – the only time he has ever undertaken this role. He was with Ken during the casting process and on set for The Angel’s Share. David has various feature projects in development. 

 

DANN EMMONS

Dann is a filmmaker from London, born and bred in Reading, UK. Dann has always had a strong passion for Film, TV and the Media Industries and has followed that passion to this day. For the past few years he has conducted himself as a freelance Writer | Director and DOP and aims to progress his career within the Film and Television Industries. His previous work ranges from Short Film; Music Video and a couple of Indie Feature's for good measure.

 

SASHA COLLINGTON

Sasha has an MA in Filmmaking from the London Film School where she won a Skillset Bursary, a Postgraduate Bursary from South West Screen and a John Brabourne Award to attend the two-year MA where she wrote and directed six short films. After graduating, Sasha was selected for the Binger Writers Lab in Amsterdam, where she spent five months developing a feature film project, ‘Another Anna’, a romantic-comedy-magical-realism-fable about learning to like yourself. In 2014, she started her own production company, Midnight Circus Films and she is currently in post-production on her first feature film, ‘Love Type D’, which she wrote and directed. The film is an extension of her award-winning short, ‘Lunch Date' which was funded entirely on Kickstarter and selected, out of thousands, as project of the day where it screened at film festivals around the world and won several awards.

 

BEN CHARLES EDWARDS

Edwards began his career as a photographer which later developed into filmmaking, initially creating short films for Vogue Italia and the Balenciaga Museum and more recently moving in to international commercial content and feature films with major distribution. Edwards also writes, directs and produces his own short films, of which there have been 10 to date. Several of which have been nominated and selected for international Film Festivals such as Raindance London and Palm Beach - with his short ‘Dotty’ receiving 4 nominations and won at the Hollywood International Film Festival. 2015 sees the recent completion of his debut feature Film ‘Set the Thames on Fire’, a dark comic fantasy film which is due for general release later this year. 

 

ANA PIO

Ana Pio was born in Portugal, where she studied Music, specialising in Piano, from the age of 10. Later, she pursued her studies in Cinema at University of Beira Interior, complemented with a semester at University of Lincoln, UK. Abroad, she had her first contact with the film industry - incorporating crews as sound recordist and editor. She directed and produced her debut short film in 2014, I Welcome You to This House, having screened in several countries and Film Festivals. In 2015, she specialised in Directing by completing a Masters at Met Film School in London, where she currently lives. She is launching two new short films in 2016, a period fiction, Eden, and a documentary, Ode.

 

CHARLIE FIELD

Charlie is an Actor and Producer originally from Bath. After being accepted to study English at the UEA, he was cast in the role of Philip in 'The Shape of Things' at the Theatre Royal Bath and 'Charlie's Dark Angel' directed by James Christopher at the Garage, Theatre Royal Norwich. He has also produced various short films with award winning film Director, Dan Allen.

 

BEN MAIER

Ben Maier is a writer and performer. He regularly collaborates with a number of theatre companies across the UK and Ireland, providing script and song for immersive multi-media theatre productions. He has performed his solo show An Imaginary Circus in schools, ad agencies, tents and railway arches around the world. In 2014, he received a PhD in Creative Writing from Queen's University, Belfast.

 

MARC BARNES

Marc is an award winning performer and filmmaker who has worked in the industry for over ten years. He has worked predominately as a comedy actor for various theatre, film and TV productions and was a regular performer with Secret Cinema. Marc's love has always been in film and 6 years ago he started to make short films, mocumentaries and sketches on YouTube. The channel  has raked in nearly three million views. He recently won an EMPIRE award and became the global winner for his short film 'Legendvison'. As well as this, he spends his time working with young people who want to progress in the arts. 

 

JP CALDEANO

JP Caldeano has a MA in Cinematography from the Met Film School having been awarded a Gulbenkian bursary to study there. Previously he worked 8 years as a camera technician for one of the most prestigious rental companies in the world (ARRI) where he has been involved in some amazing block buster projects including, RUSH, Les Miserábles, Skyfall, Trance and many others. Since graduating he has been shooting Feature films, short films, music videos and commercials. and his work has been shown at many film festivals worldwide.

 

ROB DAGLISH

Rob is an award winning filmmaker and moving image artist. His work has been displayed across the world at various festivals and exhibitions. He graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with first class honours in film production and studied at the International Filmmaking Academy, Italy. Most recently Rob was commissioned to make a short for Channel 4's Random Acts.

 

COSTANZA FAZI

Events & Partnerships Manager

Costanza started working with Young Film Academy as Events & Partnerships in 2015. At Young Film Academy she implements new projects and creates new partnerships with fellow international filmmaking education companies. She is passionate about education management and filmmaking and has been working in this sector since 2014. Costanza has also worked as Project Manager in Brussels in two different education-related European networks. She has a BA in Classics and an MA in Cultural Projects Management.

 

CHLOE MATTEI

Party Assistant

Chloë has a diploma in Art and Design at Arts University Bournemouth and a BA in Live Event and Television at London College of Communication. During her studies she has trained in various types of dance, interned at Jamie Wilson Productions following the production of Sister Act UK Tour, designed and constructed set installations for international music festivals and worked part-time in The Royal Opera House. Since then she has just produced her second TED talk, which focuses on spreading ideas and providing platforms for undiscovered talent. Recently, she is freelancing as an Assistant Director/Producer on various short films. Chloë has been part of the Young Film Academy team for two years assisting on our Popstar, Greenscreen or Movie Parties. 

 

SAM AINSWORTH


Sam was born and raised in London, and first completed his Bachelors in Archaeology and History before travelling the length and breadth of South America. From this he naturally concluded that film was his calling, and applied to study for a Masters in Directing at Met Film School. Completing his masters in late 2015, his short film CabroĢn won a National Student Film Festival award, and competed at twenty five festivals. His second short So What Now? is currently in post-production.

 

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