Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education


Academy Programmes 2019/20

Funded by the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, the Creative Learning Centres will be running a series of Screen Academies in Belfast, Derry-Londonderry and Armagh aimed at any young person aged 16-19 with the talent and commitment to take up an exciting career within the screen industries.

BFI Film Academy 

Now in its 6th year the BFI Film Academy has successfully trained over 100 young people in film production.  You will have the opportunity to work as a crew to produce a short film as well as complete a Level 2 NCFE Award in Preparing to Work in the Film Industry.

As a BFI Film Academy participant, you will work with filmmakers and take part in a series of master classes and workshops with industry professionals, hear their top tips on how to get into and succeed in the film industry, get practice in developing your ideas and producing your own work.

The three Creative Learning Centre in Northern Ireland, Amma Centre (Armagh), Nerve Centre (Derry) and Nerve Belfast will be delivering the BFI Film Academy this Autumn.

Applications for the Academy are now available – see Nerve Belfast’s BFI page for more details.

Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation 

The Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation is now open for applications!

The Foundation Academy is a unique training programme focussing on 2D animation, providing training and hands-on experience of key job roles within the animation industry. Participants will be introduced to the animation production process, learn about design, have the opportunity to animate characters using industry standard software, visit several of the leading animation studios in Northern Ireland and complete an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation.

The Foundation Academy for Animation is open to any young person aged 16-19 throughout the region with the enthusiasm and commitment to take up a career within the animation industry and who is not currently attending university.

Animation is a major growth area in the creative industries in Northern Ireland and there is a high demand for skills and local talent in animation. Several of our leading animation companies, Sixteen South, Jam Media, Paper Owl and Dog Ears, are partnering with Nerve Belfast and the Nerve Centre in Derry/Londonderry to establish a career pathway into the industry.

Structure of the Foundation Animation Academy   

To allow for progression, the Northern Ireland Screen Foundation Academy for Animation will have two distinct phases.

Phase 1: Saturday, September 28, October 5, 12, and 19

Delivered in Nerve Belfast and Nerve Centre, Derry. 

These four training sessions, delivered by industry professionals, will introduce you to the animation production process and the theory and principles of animation. Everyone accepted on to the Foundation Academy will have the opportunity to complete a unit from an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation.

Phase 2: Saturdays November – March

Delivered in Nerve Belfast. 

On completion of Phase 1, you will be invited to apply to Phase 2 of the Foundation Academy. Phase 2 will provide creative skills development and technical training in many of the key job roles involved in the animation industry, including 2D drawing, rigging, lay-out, digital painting, compositing, in-betweening and storyboarding.

Phase 2 will include a production element linked to an OCN Level 3 qualification in 2D Animation. You will have the opportunity to visit local animation studios and receive training and guidance from leading industry professionals.

To apply visit:

If you have any questions please contact Laura Robinson at [email protected]

Deadline: Friday 20th of September 5pm

The Foundation Academy for Animation is funded by the Department of Communities through Northern Ireland Screen.

To hear more about the success of Foundation Academy for Animation click here

Production Design and Film Construction Academy

This year the Nerve Centre will be running new Screen Academies in Production Design and Film Construction that will provide essential skills, training, and ‘real world’ production experience of these expanding sectors of our local screen industries. These Academies will be offered in Belfast and will draw upon the skills and expertise of industry professionals making their living in the local production sector.

The Production Design and Film Set Construction Academy will commence in the Autumn. Applications will open in September.  

Games Development

The NI Screen Gaming Development Skills Academy is a unique training & experience programme, which focuses on core skills around computer game development and production at both technical and narrative levels. It is managed by the Nerve Centre but delivered in partnership with the Pixel Mill and industry professionals working in Games development and production in Northern Ireland.

Participants will be introduced to the core facets of the Games Development process, from idea generation and refinement through to technical skills, before having the opportunity to create their own pieces of work. This will all be under the expert guidance of industry professionals – who will lead training and offer a number of insight sessions around key roles and career progression within the local industry.

Participants will graduate from the Academy with practical, creative, and technical experience around Games Development, a completed example of their own work, connections and knowledge within the Gaming sector in Northern Ireland, and clear signposting of career progression pathways within the sector.

Applications for the Academy will be open in September.


To register your interest in any of the Academies, please provide your details on Nerve Belfast’s Academies Register.

For further information please contact Jennifer McAlorum at Nerve Belfast either by email [email protected] or phone 02890312094.

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