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Radical Film School

with Equalities Work
Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, & Dec 2, 10am - 6pm @ The Foundry, Oval

Radical Film School (formerly known as South London Gallery Film School) is dedicated to developing, advocating for, and supporting a new generation of creative filmmakers that is empowered, diverse, radical, fearlessly creative, and represents the future of the UK's art cinema. This free programme encourages politically-engaged, human rights, and social justice filmmaking, with a focus on filmmakers from backgrounds underrepresented in the UK film industry. We aim above all, to collectively develop everyone's artistic practices, and build a supportive group of life-long collaborators. The school will be held 5 Saturdays in a row, from Nov 4 to Dec 2 at The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London, SE11 5RR from 10am to 6pm each day. Find us on instagram here.

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Image from Ghost / ສັກສາດ by Chanthila Phaophanit, 2020 participant


Radical Film School has been running in different forms since 2015, and now has over 100 former participants collaborating, creating work, making films together, sharing resources and ideas, and supporting each other. It's dedicated to supporting independent, unconventional, radical work. The programme considers film education, creative development, and social and political engagement equally important, and encourages filmmaking that confronts the major challenges of modern Britain. We aim to be as non-hierarchical as possible, where the tutors and guests are facilitators of student-led, participatory learning, rather than teachers in the conventional sense. Thanks to Equalities Work, in 2023 Radical Film School is free for participants, and the cost of transportation and lunch will be covered.

While we don't measure development by conventional industry standards, our participants have gone on to make BFI-funded films, been awarded the South London Gallery and Jerwood Somerset House Residencies, exhibited in The Barbican, been awarded the FLAMIN Fellowship, and directed plays at the National Theatre. The programme runs over 5 consecutive Saturdays from Nov 4 to Dec 2, and throughout the rest of the year there are additional workshops, masterclasses, and informal meetings to encourage sustained creative networks.

The structure and content of the course is constantly evolving to adapt to the needs of the participants, but here's a general outline of our 4 areas of focus: 

  • Artistic Practice: The heart of the school is our group sessions where we develop your unique voice as a filmmaker. We explore ways of challenging conventional cinema, like investigating folklore as a source of alternative storytelling, rigorously decolonising cinema by interrogating its history of representation, and examining other art forms as sources of inspiration.

  • Guest sessions: Each day, one or two inspiring filmmakers comes in for an honest conversation about their practice and how they navigate the creative, personal, and financial challenges of making unconventional work. Previous guests include Mica Levi, Clio Barnard, Joseph Adesunloye, Kibwe Tavares, Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Larissa Sansour, Jonathan Glazer, Sally Al Hosaini, Bassam Tariq, and Ufuoma Essi. 

  • Project Development: We collectively develop participants' film ideas; working on scripts, treatments, themes, and visuals..

  • Practical skills: From exploring lighting and shot composition, to discussing the logistics of sustaining a career, to financing, distribution, putting together a budget, and forming a crew.

The school is run by Saeed Taji Farouky, a Palestinian-Egyptian-British filmmaker, educator, and curator who has been making work around themes of conflict, human rights, and colonialism since 2004. His work is dedicated to developing a vernacular cinema, liberated from the conventions of the industry and distinct from classical European story structure.

His 2021 documentary, A Thousand Fires premiered as the opening film of Locarno's Critics' Week where it won the Marco Zucchi Prize for most innovative documentary. His previous feature documentary Tell Spring Not to Come This Year premiered at Berlinale 2015 where it won 2 awards. He regularly teaches and lectures at venues including University College London, National Film and Television School, Scottish Documentary Institute, Sensory Ethnography Lab (Harvard University) and Maysles Documentary Centre (USA). He is also co-founder of Safar, the UK's only film festival dedicated entirely to Arab cinema.

Equalities Work is a charity that engages the public through arts and education activities at The Foundry in Vauxhall. Much of our work is the result of partnering with campaigning, advocacy, education and arts organisations. Equalities Work brings people together to learn about and discuss key human rights and social justice issues.

Current projects include a programme of exhibitions and events that include links with tenants of the Foundry and arts organisations. All of the exhibitions have a social justice theme and are accompanied with events such as talks or film showings about the issues raised. We also have a project called Rights, Camera, Action! that helps local young people progress into the creative sector. Learn more at



Sept 29: Applications open

Oct 23: Applications close 5pm

Oct 24-26: Applications reviewed

Oct 26-27: Selected applicants informed

Oct 27: Unsuccessful applicants informed

Oct 27: Selected applicants announced
Nov 4: First session, 10am-6pm    

Nov 11: Second session, 10am-6pm  

Nov 18: Third session, 10am-6pm

Nov 25: Fourth session, 10am-6pm

Dec 2: Fifth session, 10am-6pm

The sessions will be held in-person in London at The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London, SE11 5RR. You can find a map of the location, and more information about The Foundry on their website here. Unfortunately we won't be doing sessions virtually or on-line because the dynamics of being together are essential to the programme.


We want to keep the criteria for applying as open as possible, but we have a few guidelines.

  • The minimum age to apply is 18. There's no maximum age.

  • We will select around 16 participants from the applications.

  • You must be available to be in London, in person, for every session: Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, & Dec 2, 10am - 6pm. Unfortunately we can't currently support visa applications, the costs of travelling to the UK, or accommodation in London, for applicants living abroad. 

  • We're looking for participants in the early stages of their filmmaking careers. We define "early stages" as someone who has made no more than 1 feature-length film. 

  • You don't need any experience in film to apply, just passion and humour, but if you've made any films, moving-image work, photographs, or animations, please share links to them in the application form.

  • All applicants must be willing to collaborate and share their ideas in a caring, supportive, and honest environment.

  • We welcome applicants who might have an established career in another field and are now moving into film.

  • The programme is specifically for those who want to dedicate their lives to being filmmakers.

  • The selection process will favour people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the film industry with regards to race, sex, gender identity, class, and ability, but those who don't think of themselves as "underrepresented" are still eligible to apply and may be selected.

  • We're looking for people hungry to make experimental, arthouse, abstract, wild, bizarre, politically and formally radical, unnerving films and artist moving image work underpinned by strong human rights themes. Applicants interested in conventional, commercial filmmaking and who are looking for a standard film school education are unlikely to be selected.


The deadline has passed and applications are now closed.



If you have any questions about the programme or the application process, please don't hesitate to contact us using this form. You can also find the lead tutor Saeed on twitter where he posts updates about the school @saeedtaji

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