Training Courses

BFI Film Academy Labs: Casting for Film and TV

25/11/2021 - 25/11/2021

4:30pm - 5:30pm

BFI Film Academy Labs are online events for 16 – 25 year olds to gain industry insight and get professional advice and support to develop their own film programming and film making practices. Programmed by the Young Film Programmers’ Network (South East) they are delivered as practical masterclasses, workshops and networking sessions.

About the session

This month we’re delighted to be joined by casting directors Heather Basten and Sonia Allam. Finding the right actors to bring film and television characters to life is one of the most important but often overlooked aspects of the filmmaking process. In this session, Heather and Sonia will share their career paths into the industry, explain what their roles entail, and offer advice for those that want to break into this diverse and challenging role.

This session will be live-captioned, we will provide instructions on how to access the captions at the beginning of the event.

If you have any questions about the event please get in touch at


25/11/2021 - 25/11/2021
4:30pm - 5:30pm



Heather Basten

Casting Director

Heather Basten is an English casting director based in London, and a member of the Casting Directors Guild (UK), and the Casting Society of America (USA). In 2021 she was recognised as a Screen International 'STAR OF TOMORROW'. Heather has cast the upcoming 6-Ep musical TV series JUNGLE for AMAZON STUDIOS and DREAMING WHILST BLACK for the BBC. She has most recently cast the Stone Age-set film THE ORIGIN, which is the newest sophomore feature from UK producer Oliver Kassman (Saint Maud). Heather is currently casting a new exciting slate of green-lit films across the BFI, Blumhouse, Film 4 and the BBC, and casting theatre for the off-west end venue, The Bush Theatre.

Sonia Allam

Casting Director

Sonia has been working in casting since 2008. After working alongside some of the UK's leading casting directors at Gary Davy Casting, Catherine Willis Casting, ITV, BBC and Lime Pictures, Sonia Allam Casting was founded in January 2019. Her credits include projects for BBC, Starz, Amazon Prime, ITV, C4, E4, C5, Discovery ID, National Geographic, Comedy Central, CBBC, Disney, Nickelodeon & BFI. Sonia is a member of the Casting Directors' Guild of Great Britain & Ireland, & proudly champions diversity as a founding member of their equality, diversity & inclusion group, alongside 11 other members.

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