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.
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.