About Us


Young Film Academy (YFA) is the UKʼs leading provider of filmmaking courses, schools film making programmes, community filmmaking projects, film making outreach events and kids film parties to young people aged 6-19.

Based in London, and now in our 15th year, we work nationwide to help 7,500 young people each year complete their first digital films, from West End-premiered movies to curriculum-linked film projects in schools.

Young Film Academy is a hub partner in the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy Network, helping to find top UK emerging talent. YFA designs and delivers high quality educational film projects for the UKʼs largest arts institutions, right down to small groups of kids who just want to have fun making movies or hosting film making parties at home…

So if you want to get kids involved in filmmaking – whether itʼs for a day, a week or a year, get in touch!


Passion for the things you excel at starts early (Steven Spielberg made his first film aged 12!)

Filmmaking is about teamwork. Itʼs often hard for young filmmakers to find other enthusiastic young people to work with.

The future will contain many more screens. The children of today will use visual media throughout their lives to educate, inform, entertain, network, manipulate, communicate and more.

Understanding how moving images are created should be a part of every childʼs education if they are to be properly equipped for the world they will live in.

Many young people aged 6-19 want to make films, but don’t because of a lack of confidence, knowledge or equipment.

Students in schools who would otherwise find it hard to engage often thrive when they can express themselves through filmmaking.

Completing a film – and not giving up halfway – gives young people a sense of achievement, pride and confidence that can positively impact other aspects of their lives.

There is no reason why young people aged 19 shouldnʼt have showreels already – the only tried and tested launch-pad for careers in film and related industries.

Filmmaking is about making films, not talking about making films. Getting out there and DOING it is the only way to learn!

The stars of the future will come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

To teach filmmaking itʼs not enough to be a filmmaker. Or a teacher. You must be both.

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’ in 1997 with Desmond Llewelyn (Q from James Bond) aged seventeen. The experience was inspiration for co-founding Young Film Academy in 2003. Ed has since directed three features (‘Blooded’, ‘The Mirror’, ‘Trick or Treat’) and a series of award-winning shorts, including ‘Eighteen Weeks’ starring Joe Dempsie with music by William Orbit. He is in pre-production in his fourth feature ‘Detached’.

Dan Allen

Dan is an award-winning director, writer and editor from the UK, working in short fiction, features and commercials.

He recently completed his debut feature film, “Unhinged” which received international distribution via 88 Films and eOne entertainment.

In 2018, his #3MinuteHorror series received acclaim after being released via Crypt TV, amassing over a million views online. Episode one, “The Mime”, has since screened at Bafta and Oscar qualifying Leeds International Film Festival, amongst others.

Hannah Bixby
Joshua Dickinson

Joshua Dickinson trained at East 15 Acting School. His short films as a writer/director include ‘The Writer’, ‘Housekeeping’ and ‘Spiral’. His acting credits include the CBS series ‘Ransom’, the BBC’s ‘Holby City’ and independent horror film ‘Redcon-1’.

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 WarMidsomer MurdersTo The Ends of the EarthSilent 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.

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 Hefler

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.

Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman is a multi-award winning filmmaker from London. In between making his own independent films, he has spent the last fifteen years working as an actor, comedian and prop maker. When he’s not doing all of that, he works as a freelance artist in schools and colleges teaching film and drama.’

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 WhoThe 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).

Ross Armstrong

Ross Armstrong trained at Warwick University and RADA. He has appeared on stage in Henry VHamletThe 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 SelfridgeTitanicDCI BanksSpooksDoctorsLove and MarriageJonathan Creek and Foyles War.

James Parkers

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.