Thanks to the British Film Institute and Lucasfilm, the galaxy is no longer so far, far away.
It probably isn't too much of a reach to assume that many young people are introduced to the "magic of movies" via kid-friendly Hollywood blockbusters designed for mass consumption. It's also safe to assume that the Star Wars franchise, kickstarted in 1977 by George Lucas, has served as their defacto Holy Grail for inspiration. Numerous careers can be traced back to a filmmaker's Star Wars memory of sitting down to watch a story told from a galaxy far, far, away, and often with a personal hope of getting to work on a future installment. Oh, to have that incredibly rare opportunity.
If you're a student between the ages of 16-19 and are based in the United Kingdom, the British Film Institute Academy's Future Skills program is looking to make that a reality. In addition to being a valuable experience meant to strengthen and sustain your career as you continue onward, it may even provide the chance to work on the next Star Wars film. Applications for the BFI Film Academy's summer residency program are now open.
Created as a way to provide "opportunities for a career in film to under-represented young people from all over the U.K.," the program—and its 10 point action plan designed to encourage diverse applicants—has already experienced much success placing young students in trainee roles on high-profile productions. Its work with Lucasfilm is as high-profile as it gets, a relationship first introduced as a "trial run" on the recently released Solo: A Star Wars Story, incorporating 28 trainees in "roles ranging from Sound and Lighting to Art Department and Camera."
Director of Photography Bradford Young was just one of several "big time" names that took time out of a hectic production schedule to mentor these trainees, and It went so well, that now the program is looking to fill 30 trainee slots on J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX, beginning production this summer. English students from all backgrounds will be considered: For Solo, women made up 75% of the trainees, and 45% came from BAME backgrounds (Black/Asian/Minority/Ethnic within the U.K.) and 68% were from outside Greater London.
Do you qualify to apply to for the program? Interested in taking in potentially shadowing a production role on the next Star Wars film? For more information on the application process, click here.