Southern Regional College media student lands BFI Academy spot

You may see seventeen-year-old Ben Roberts’ name on the big screen in the coming years. The Southern Regional College (SRC) student has been successfully accepted for a National Film and Television School Academy Residential with the British Film Industry (BFI) and is heading to England to complete an eleven-day sound specialism residential later this month.

Ben is one of 66 successful students aged 16-19 from across the UK undertaking a craft residential specialism. Craft residential specialisms include directing, producing, screen writing, cinematography, sound, editing and production design. To gain his place Ben submitted personal and educational references alongside evidence of his skill set. Skills obtained from his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Media, a course equivalent to three A-levels, at Southern Regional College’s Armagh campus and a BFI short film project which he undertook from late September to December 2023 at the Amma Centre in Armagh.

Ben is in the first year of his course at SRC. Despite his young age, Ben has had a fascination with digital imaging and film, seeking out the Level 3 Media course following advice from his career’s teacher at Craigavon Senior High School. At GCSE stage, Ben kept his options open by completing a diverse range of subjects, from Business Studies, IT, Digital Imaging, Cooking and Pastries to the usual Maths, English, and Science subjects. This allowed Ben to follow a career path which he is passionate about.

In College, Ben is learning skills in Adobe Photoshop, plus collaborating with other students to produce audiobooks, from scripting to the production stage, using professional audio production (Tascam) equipment and editing audio tracks using Audacity software.

In preparation for the on-site residential, Ben will attend online training taking place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th March. For the role of sound production, Ben will have responsibilities for assembling, operating, and maintaining technical equipment used to record, amplify, enhance, mix, or produce sound. He’ll need to select sound choices for dialogue and real time sound, plus special effects, and musical soundtracks.

The upcoming residential promises to push Ben beyond his comfort zone. The fast paced eleven day short residential will bring its own challenges, but Ben is ready for it and the career opportunities it will bring.

Ryan O’Hagan, Lecturer at Southern Regional College commented:

The BFTS craft residential is an extraordinary opportunity for young talent to develop their skills and build a career in the film industry. Congratulations to Ben as he pursues the opportunity to take part in sound production in the upcoming residential, where he will be taking part in masterclasses delivered by top film makers. We look forward to learning about Ben’s experiences when he returns to the classroom in April.”