Open Access Fund

Championing diversity in the film & TV industries

“It’s a joy to see a young and diverse student body taking their first steps into the entertainment industry.  The Young Film Academy offers a great window into the varied and often unknown facets of production and performance, in a fun and productive environment.  As a talent agency, it’s exciting to know that these young minds may go on to be the great creative minds our clients will collaborate with in the future.”

Global talent agency

Open Access Fund Sponsors 2020

What is the Open Access Fund?

The Open Access fund will enable 15% of students who attend Young Film Academy’s flagship Residential Filmmaking & Screen Acting Summer Camp to have no financial barrier to access.

Young Film Academy (YFA) are raising £15,000 per annum in support from media industry partners who share our mission to open access: to give young people from diverse backgrounds opportunities in the creative sector to encourage their pursuit of careers in the film and television industries.

The Open Access fund will enable 15% of students who attend Young Film Academy’s summer camp to have no financial barrier to access. These bursaries will support young people who may struggle to attend due to factors such as race, gender, class, household income and disability, to have a transformative and inspiring experience in the creative arts.

Why donate to this fund now?

The film and TV industry needs better representation among it’s workforce. We want to be part of the solution by providing transformative opportunities to young people under the age of 18, inspiring their career direction and  higher education decisions. 

The Film & TV industry struggles with diversity: between August 2018 – July 2019, 6.6 per cent of on-screen talent were Black actors. Behind the camera, Directors UK report in 2016 cited only 2.3 per cent of television episodes aired by UK broadcasters were directed by BAME directors* and of the top 100 grossing films of 2019, women represented 10.7% of all directors**

Students from diverse backgrounds should be encouraged to enter training and higher education opportunities in creative media, in the hopes they will progress into employable roles in the industry. In practice, this means stimulating and nurturing their talent EARLY, so an interest can develop into a PASSION.

YFA’s summer camp offers 12-17 year olds a uniquely practical opportunity to find and nurture their passion for telling stories on screen. Students engage (often for the first time) with what a career in film and TV looks like, and participants are introduced to the practicalities of pursuing post-16 training in the creative sectors.

*Creative Diversity Network, Diamond Report, 2021
** Inclusion Initiative, 2020

How does attending YFA’s summer camp help to nurture passion?

Young Film Academy (YFA) is Europe’s leading provider of filmmaking courses, schools film making programmes, community filmmaking projects, helping over 7,500 young people each year complete their first digital films.

YFA’s all-inclusive Residential Filmmaking & Screen Acting Summer Camp offers young people a unique opportunity to build their experience in an encouraging and inclusive environment. Participants work with like-minded young people to create their own short films, guided by industry professionals, using professional equipment. 

The camp is fully residential and includes all board, meals, tuition, excursions, equipment and activities. The camp nurtures both the practical and personal skills they need to progress in the industry.

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Case Study – Harriet Aoko

“I went to Young Film Academy’s summer camp three years ago through the Hamilton Hodell scholarship. It was a really unforgettable experience I would recommend, especially if you want to learn about the film industry or you’re passionate about movies and film. It inspires you to pursue film as a career as you meet professionals in the industry. I met new people who have the same interests and I’m still in contact with them today. I got to learn about how the film industry works in a nutshell. I went on to learn more about the film industry through other YFA short courses including their BFI Academy. I am currently doing a filmmaking course at Birmingham university and I am also part of the Focus on Females programme ran by YFA. Once a YFA member, always a YFA member!”

Harriet Aoko – Hamilton Hodell Scholarship Awardee 2017 

Who are we collaborating with to deliver this fund?

We are delighted to be collaborating with The Girls Network charity as part of our Open Access fund who will assist with recruiting young women from across the UK. The Girls Network are a run a national mentoring programme, working with young women aged 14-19 to support them in realising their ambitions and discovering their self-worth.

The Girls’ Network aims to inspire and empower girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional role models who are women. They believe that no girl’s future should be limited by her background, gender or parental income. They reach girls via relationships with schools in London, Sussex, Portsmouth, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the North East, Tees Valley and Merseyside, and support over 1000 girls each year. Volunteer mentors are trained by The Girls’ Network and meet their mentees at least once a month for a year. Mentoring is a journey, helping mentees get from where they are to where they want to be. At the end of the mentoring journey, mentees become ambassadors of The Girls’ Network: a free lifelong membership enabling them to continue accessing support and opportunities, and offering them a platform to have their voice heard. The Girls’ Network hopes ambassadors will return as mentors once they’ve entered the world of work, helping them create a self-sustaining social movement with the goal of achieving unlimited futures for all young women.

How can your organisation get involved?

Donations to the Open Access Fund will sponsor successful applicants from diverse backgrounds, enabling them to benefit from 100% bursaries for YFA’s Filmmaking and Screen Acting Summer Camp, plus a travel bursary.

In return for your support, YFA can set set up a named bursary, providing your organisation with:

  • updates and reports from students about their experience
  • copies of films they’ve worked on
  • optional input on subsequent career developments/opportunities

YFA will recruit students to benefit from this fund through an open application process distributed via YFA’s partner organisation networks.

Donations can also be made anonymously if preferred.

Sponsorship packages available

Sponsor 2 students (1-week programme)  – £2,800

Sponsor 5 students (1-week programme) – £7,000

Sponsor 10 students (1-week programme) – £14,000

Students can also be sponsored for a 2-week programme to have a more in-depth learning experience. Please contact us for pricing and details.

To express your interest in donating to YFA’s Open Access Fund, please contact Events & Partnerships Manager Hannah Bixby on, or call 0207 387 4341.