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How the BFI Kent Film Academy helped Mdhamiri Á Nkemi from Strood become a successful editor

With just three days left to apply for the BFI Kent Film Academy, we spoke to one of the course's success stories Mdhamiri Á Nkemi to see how enrolling can help aspiring film makers achieve their dream.

At just 12, Mdhamiri Á Nkemi started making his own short films, teaching himself how to use editing software and forcing his family, who he lived with in Strood, to get involved.

Mdhamiri Á Nkemi was in the BFI Kent Film Academy 's very first cohort
Mdhamiri Á Nkemi was in the BFI Kent Film Academy 's very first cohort

Always interested in storytelling, he found film was the best way of doing this.

He said: "Moving image is such a visual and immersive art form. It gives you the ability to tell stories and capture peoples imagination in an immediate and vivid way."

During his time at secondary school, the teenager embarked on several short film-making courses.

Mdhamiri then began studying media production at MidKent College.

He said: "When I went to college I started working with other people and realised how collaborative film-making is."

Applications for the BFI Kent Film Academy are open until Thursday, September 26
Applications for the BFI Kent Film Academy are open until Thursday, September 26

While there, he was convinced to apply for the BFI Kent Film Academy.

"I thought 'I've kind of done it now' and had to be persuaded to apply - I wasn't hugely excited."

But once he began the course aged 17, part of the very first cohort in 2013, Mdhamiri soon realised it was a step above the rest.

"I was surprised at how much better it was compared to all the other stuff I'd done in the past. It was amazing."

He was able to try out all different disciplines, from script-writing to editing in a professional setting, meet people from BAFTA and work alongside other equally talented young people, some of which he is still in touch with today.

Mdhamiri has worked on several successful films
Mdhamiri has worked on several successful films

Through making connections on the course, Mdhamiri was then able to apply for an exclusive BFI residential trip which he went on a few weeks later.

Following this, the young creative embarked on a undergraduate degree in editing at Ravensbourne in London, realising this was his true passion, and completed a masters degree in editing at the National Film and Television School.

He won the most promising student award before graduating last year.

A year on and Mdhamiri is living his dream of being a full-time film editor, has already cut several feature-length dramas and won awards at film festivals including for Facing It at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

He said: "Through the connections I made while on the BFI film course, I have got to work on a lot of really brilliant short films and have also made a low-budget feature film, A Moving Image, with my friend from the academy Shola Amoo.

"Moving image is such a visual and immersive art form. It gives you the ability to tell stories and capture peoples imagination in an immediate and vivid way" - Mdhamiri Á Nkemi

"Connections are really important and have helped me a lot so far."

Mdhamiri, who now lives in London, loves not having a nine to five job.

"I get excited by things changing constantly and new experiences. I love that when you're working with film, no day is the same and you get to work with lots of different people."

The 24-year-old's latest project is another collaboration with Amoo - a feature film called The Large Tree, which he is very proud of.

He added: "If you're thinking about a career in film you should 100% apply for the BFI Kent Film Adacemy. It has opened so many doors for me and I would highly recommend it."

Applications are open for anyone between 16 and 19 until 5pm on Thursday, September 26.

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