The NYFA has helped my career incredibly, the company gave me the opportunity to be seen by some of the biggest agents in the UK and I am now represented by Shane Collins Associates. I owe my success to the NYFA.
Zak Russel-Jones. Alumni
Please find below a list of some of our key staff, notable alumni, previous mentors and speakers who have kindly passed on their invaluable knowledge onto our members.
Rob founded the National Youth Film Academy in 2011 with the support of BFI Future Film. It is a non-profit organisation that locates, educates, develops, and showcases the talents and abilities of exceptionally gifted young filmmakers and actors aged between 16 and 25 from around the UK. So far, the Academy has landed its members roles on a wide range of productions including Amazon Prime’s ‘Jack Ryan’ and the Ridley Scott-produced feature film ‘Lyrebird’.
Rob has also held senior positions working in Digital and Film for Regional Enterprise Partnerships, Universities and has sat on numerous government advisory boards.
Jonny graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from Northumbria University. He
has enjoyed a varied career in TV and radio, from working on Match of the Day during the FA Cup to
presenting alongside Ant and Dec, and compered to thousands of people at iconic venues in the UK.
He has also managed large scale events including festivals and outdoor cinemas and worked on
national projects including NCS and Children’s University. In his role as General Manager at National
Youth Film Academy, he manages the day to day operations to provide the best service to our current
and prospective members.
Head of Talent
Hailing from Newcastle, Jenna graduated from the University of the Arts in London with a degree in
Film and Live Television. She then went onto working on films including ‘Men in Black’, and ‘Spiderman:
Far from Home’ and TV events such as ‘Children in Need’. Jenna joined the National Youth Film
Academy as Head of Talent and members often attribute their success to the hard work Jenna puts in
to securing roles for them on projects and productions such as Liam Neeson’s upcoming film ‘Normal
People’, and ‘Ip Man 4’ with Donnie Yen.
Member and Events Manager
Lucy joined the team as Member and Events Manager with the objective of further supporting
the National Youth Film Academy members in their chosen careers within the film industry. In her role
she curates a wide range of valuable opportunities such as masterclasses and webinars with industry
professionals and manages the Emerging Brits course. Lucy graduated from Northumbria University
with a Bachelor’s degree in Business with Marketing, she then secured a Master’s degree in Design
Management. Prior to joining the National Youth Film Academy, Lucy held the position of Marketing and
Events Manager for a professional body.
Digital Content Producer
Yvette has a first-class Bachelor’s degree in Radio Production and Media Studies from the University of
Chester. She has a wealth of experience in carving a career path in film and TV and enjoyed roles at
ITV, where she started as a runner and progressed through the ranks to eventually become the director
of the UK's first ever television promotion to solely use British Sign Language. She also produced
CITV's 2016 Share a Story Campaign which won a Children's BAFTA in the Short Form category and
has delivered 360 marketing campaigns for the broadcaster. She now holds the role as National Youth
Film Academy’s Digital Content Producer, where she applies her creative and marketing expertise to
raising awareness of the organisation.
Born and raised in Manchester, Ben has fully committed to his dream of becoming an actor. Before he
completed the National Youth Film Academy #SetReady course in 2014, he performed in theatre
productions including: ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Since
becoming a member of the organisation, Ben has gained representation from Shane Collins Associates
and has landed roles in the TV series ‘Wolfblood’ and the feature films ‘Unhinged’ and ‘Catalyst’ under
the stage name Zak Russell-Jones. When he’s not acting, Ben dedicates his time to his Talent
Executive role at the National Youth Film Academy where he helps other young aspiring actors and
filmmakers kickstart their careers in film and TV.
Born and raised in the North East, Ben attended the #SetReady course in 2014 as an actor. As a
member of the National Youth Film Academy, he has enjoyed success at the local TV station, Tyne &
Wear TV, as both a crew member and a presenter. His valuable experience both in front of the camera
and behind has equipped him with the knowledge and tools to share with members in his role as Talent
Senior Web Developer
Ryan grew up in Northumberland and is a self-taught web developer. Prior to joining the National Youth
Film Academy he was a key member of a ground-breaking tech-start-up based in Liverpool. He joined
the organisation as Senior Web Developer and is constantly looking for new and innovative tech solutions
that can improve the experience for members.
Arianna is an Italian filmmaker and visual anthropologist with experience in documentary and filmmaking across Europe.
Francesco is an award winning filmmaker who has showcased at festivals across the world.
Director and Writer
Rafael is a London-based, award-winning writer/director, media lecturer, screenplay development and new media technology consultant. Since 2006 he has created some of the most distinctive short and feature films that have won over twenty five international awards at top-tier festivals such as Cannes, Oberhausen, Austin, New Horizons and Brest. His feature debut 'Butterfly Kisses' (BBC Films/Film London/Microwave/Blue Shadows Films) won the Crystal Bear at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. His feature project 'Up on the Roof' won Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Cinefondation Residence award. His short 'To Bury The Horse' was a finalist in the 2011 Bosh Stiftung Competition. He also worked as script supervisor on Nina Gantz’s BAFTA-winning short animation 'Edmond' (over fifty international awards). He is currently in development with a comedy Cranley Gardens (Blue Shadows Films, IFP), Budapest Diaries (Domino Films, PISF) and a television series 'Tumbleweed' (Racine Media). He is also attached to adapt and direct Alex Gino’s best-selling novel George (Racine Media). Rafael has taught all aspects of fiction directing, practical filmmaking and script development at The London Film School, The Central London Film School, The London Film Academy and The Northern Film School.
Rohit Gill is a London based filmmaker and a graduate of the London Film School. After finishing his degree in visual communication, Rohit worked for eight years in the field oF visual effects. Rohit has produced and directed shorts to digital formats, edited documentaries and has extensive skills in paint, compositing, sound recording and sound design - skills developed through working on television programmes, commercials, title sequences and features.
Rohit’s credits include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Da Vinci Code and Planet X. Rohit is currently developing a short and working alongside a writer on a feature film.
Daniel Oxer is a london-based freelance producer, professional consultant and lecturer on Media Production at the University of Northampton. Daniel’s has fifteen years of extensive experience in the industry with accomplished technical and creative knowledge in TV and Film Production, as well as seven years lecturing experience including teaching BA and MA students at the University of Greenwich on the TV and Film Production course. Working as a gallery producer on Bid TV, Daniel has a great deal of knowledge about selling via the media and producing engaging sales commercials.
Andy Roughan is a lead filmmaker at Get Film, a promotional, Corporate and Event video production company based in Gateshead. Working mainly independently and occasional leading team-based film production, Andy is a highly experienced camera operator and corporate promo-video director, with excellent knowledge of using a plethora of different recording equipment. Working with Get Film, Andy has created content for a variety of clients including Lloyds Banking Group, Newcastle Building Society, Virgin Money and The NHS. As a freelancer, Andy has worked both in the United Kingdom and abroad on over three hundred projects in corporate and event video, television and feature films.
John Connors is an actor and writer, known for Cardboard Gangsters (2016), Love/Hate(2010) and Stalker (2012). John won the IFTA Best Actor Award in 2018!
My Feral Heart
Jane is a director and actress, known for My Feral Heart (2016), Sunny Boy (2016) and Twitcher (2013). My Feral Heart partnered up with OurScreen and became their most successful film to date.
Simon Bird is recognised for his work on E4's The Inbetweeners and Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner, winning the British Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, Best Male Actor and Best Male Performance at the BAFTA's.
Joseph A. Adesunloye
White Colour Black
Joseph A. Adesunloye is an award winning British-Nigerian Filmmaker. He was nominated for the BFI IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in 2016. In 2017 Joseph was longlisted ‘Best Debut Screenwriter’ for the prestigious BIFA Awards (British Independent Film Awards) where his film White Colour Black was longlisted for a total of two Awards including the category of ‘Most Promising New Comer’ for the film’s star Dudley O’Shaughnessy.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Gareth Edwards has a lot of titles on his business card, he is best well known for directing the 2014 reboot of Godzilla and epic space opera Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Ian Canning is an Academy Award Winning producer and founder of See Saw, an independent film company. Canning's credits include The King's Speech, Shame, Control and Oscar-nominated Lion.
Jason is recognised for his film work, which has included major roles in British films such as Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men: First Class and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Phil Meheux is an english cinematographer, who has often worked with directors John Mackenzie, Martin Campbell, and Raja Gosnell. Meheux's impressive CV includes work on Casino Royale, Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and The Edge of Darkness.
Matt Milne is a stage and screen actor whose career spans across roles in independent and blockbuster films, including Steven Spielberg's Warhorse and ITV's period drama Downton Abbey.
Jonathan Firth is an english actor and graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama. Firth's distinct and diverse resume includes credits from cinematic films to radio dramas and narrated audiobooks.
Karen Lindsay Stewart
Karen Lindsay Stewart's filmography is boundless, casting blockbusters such as Harry Potter, The Woman in Black and Penny Dreadful.
Paul Alexander is an english comedy writer who has written and contributed to productions such as Red Dwarf, My Hero and Life of Riley. He is currently writing a screenplay for Gold Circle Films in LA.
Creative Consultant and character animator
Lou Kneath is a Creative Consultant and character animator. She is Animation Mentor Alumni, has worked as a character animator for Cbeebies TV productions and went on to found Cloudscape Animation Studios in Cumbria, producing award winning campaigns for big brands across the country.
She was named Alumni of the year by the University of Cumbria for her role in developing animation as an industry throughout the region and also spreads her passion and enthusiasm as a lecturer and training specialist within the field.
The Inbetweeners Movie
Richard Godfrey is an experienced freelance location manager working in large-scale television dramas and feature films, Godfrey's projects include Four Lions, The Inbetweeners Movie and Eastenders.
Herbert Wise was a BAFTA and Primetime Emmy Nominated director and producer for his work on The Woman in Black, I, Claudius and Skokie.
Sean Gascoigne is part of one of the U.K's leading talent and literary agencies, covering every element of the entertainment industry and representing an extensive list of client roster including Jack Whitenhall and Keira Knightley.
Matt Smith is the Head of Distribution at Lionsgate U.K. Smith oversees the theatrical release of all of Lionsgate's films which include Out of the Furnace and Only God Forgives.
Hugo Luczyc - Wyhowski
Hugo Luczyc - Wyhowski is a production designer, his credits include Snatch, I Love You Phillip Morris and Dirty Pretty Things.
Shane Collins Associates
Shane Collins is the head talent agent at Shane Collins Associates, a well established independent talent agency, with thirty years of experience in all media.
Chris Lew Kum Hoi is an actor and joined National Youth Film Academy in 2011, our first Introductory course. Since joining, Chris has appeared in several high-profile projects such as Netflix’ “War Machine” starring Brad Pitt, Doctor Who alongside Peter Capaldi and Call the Midwife.
Josh Merritt joined National Youth Film Academy as a writer and now has six years of experience in the industry. Josh has an extensive list of IMDB credits; writing,, editing, and directing for the British Film Institute, Rory Bremner, the Barbican, City of London amongst many others. Josh more recently wrote short film Echoes.
Ciara starred in short film Elan Vital, with National Youth Film Academy and is best known for playing the title role in Harriet’s Army for the BBC and playing series regular Izzy in three seasons of My Mad Fat Diary for Channel 4. Ciara also appeared in Spike Island with Elliott Tittensor and Emilia Clarke.
Ip Man 4
Grace, member of the National Youth Film Academy played the lead role in the film, Philophobia, starring Harry Llyod and directed by Guy Davie. Just recently she finished filming for her role of Becky in the new blockbuster film, Ip Man 4.
New talent, Ellie Ekers has just graduated from the National Youth Film Academy. A fantastic new actress we have high hopes for in 2018.
National Youth Film Academy alumni, Mark Jarvis, is an exceptional young actor. He also works part-time as a Presenter and Radio DJ to accompany his acting studies at ARLA.
Sam directed short film Monday with National Youth Film Academy, his skills as a visual storyteller has seen him commissioned by The Tate Modern Gallery, shot documentaries for Cannes Lions as well as filming for the likes of BBC, Adidas and McDonalds.
CHRISTOPHER BEVAN- DIRECTOR
Christopher Bevan directed short film Plus One with National Youth Film Academy and is now an award winning and Royal Television Society nominated filmmaker who has worked on a wide range of films including features, shorts, commercials, promos and documentaries. He has gained a wealth of experience over ten years of filmmaking across the UK, with his films being screened at festivals both in the UK and abroad. His credits include Transcended, Hollow Men and Love & Other Chairs.
Heart of the Sea
Charlie is an actor and starred in short film Monday, since then he has shot numerous commercials such as BBC Sport, Subway, Tesco and Tom Odell’s music video for Hold Me. He also appeared in Warner’ Bros. Pictures feature film Heart of the Sea.
Snow White and The Huntsman
LOUISE LYNCH - PRODUCTION
Louise Lynch produced short Plus One and currently freelances in Production. Louise’s credits include location management on Universal Pictures Snow White and the Huntsman, script supervisor on The Last House on Cemetery Lane and production secretary on Casualty.
Sophie's short film Swoon was selected to premier at the BFI Future Film Festival, and earned her a nomination as Best Director at Underwire Film Festival. Pretzel Films nominated her as Junior Director of the Year for 2015, and in 2016 she was chosen by BAFTA as a Guru Pro for her film directing work.
Saul was assitiany director to All Bar on an NYFA film in 2011. Since then he has won a number of film awards and is currently represented by independent Talent Group
2011 Alumni Sally Paffett has been working professionally as an actor starring in the film another life
On our 2011 course Abubakar has had a fantastic career in TV and Film starring in Black Mirror, Assassins Creed and the Strike
Jordan has worked as a crew member on a number of notable projects such as Vera, The Dumping Ground and Beowolf
Catherine came onto our Apprenticeship program with the NYFA. She is now a Directs the National News for MADE TV in Leeds.
Olivia Chenery is an actress, known for Queens (2016), Brotherhood (2016) and Penny Dreadful (2014)
Now an assistant director at the BBC Kweku Amoa is known for his work on X+Y (2014), Devil's Tower (2014) and Make it Better
Hebe Beardsall is an actress, known for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), Still Life (2013) and Balcony (2015)
Segun Akinola is a composer based in London. His work includes scoring BBC Two's landmark four-part series 'Black and British: A Forgotten History' written and presented by Historian David Olusoga and Shola Amoo's debut feature film 'A Moving Image', which had its world premiere at the 2016 LA Film Festival, won the Special Recognition in Narrative
Guy is known for his work on Wonder Woman (2017), Rogue One (2016) and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Jaz Deol is an actor and director, known for Assassin's Creed: Syndicate (2015), Forza Horizon (2012
Million Dollar American Princesses
Rachel is an actress, comedienne and writer. As an actress Rachel has worked alongside Elizabeth McGovern in ITV’s ‘Million Dollar American Princesses’ playing the lead role in international feature film ‘Nice 2 Meet U’ and the critically acclaimed short film ‘Somebody’s Daughter.’ Rachel blogs for the Huffington Post as well as writing, directing and producing her comedy work including her viral ‘Brexit Bride’ sketch and PokePolitics web series, under the pseudonym Ray Lo.
Normal People (2018)
Join the National Youth Film Academy
Aged 16-25? Want to get into film?
We’re on the search for exceptionally gifted young filmmakers and actors. Apply to become a member of the National Youth Film Academy.