Gabe takes his place at the HOME of film

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A young film buff has completed a special course run by the British Film Academy.

Gabe Durkin, from Bispham, was one of 16 young people selected for the first BFI Film Academy course run at Manchester’s new contemporary arts centre HOME.

The 18-year-old Blackpool and The Fylde College student has been heading to Manchester twice a week since October for sessions.

“I’m really interested in films, and enjoy watching and reading about them, and came across the course on the BFI Facebook page,” he said.

“I applied, thought it would look good on university applications and my CV, and because you get opportunities to meet film people; we got free tickets to a Q and A with Danny Boyle.”

As well as talks, there were hands-on opportunities for those on the course.

“The film history sessions were my favourite part of the course, looking at the development of film and film movements,” said Gabe, who is in the second year of a creative media production BTEC.

“And creating a five-minute short film, although with 16 of us having to come up with the idea together it was pretty difficult.

“The BFI sourced actors for us and we got to go out and make it, all swapping between the different roles, although I mainly did sound.”

Gabe is now looking into the possibility of going on to university for a film studies degree and said the BFI Academy given him some good ideas for his future - should he pursue a career in the industry.

But it’s not the box office blockbusters which have drawn him to cinema; his favourite genre is ‘Italian neorealism’ from the 40s and 50s, as well as horror flicks and the work of David Lynch.

A spokesman for HOME said: “The BFI Academy UK Network programme offers hands-on filmmaking courses, aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of the nation’s next generation of filmmakers from the North West of England aged 16 to 19.

“It provides young people with an excellent development experience led by industry experts, whilst also giving them an opportunity to explore a range of progression routes both through work placements and Higher Education.”