We are inspiring young people through film.
The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy
The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is the UK’s only co-operatively-run film academy, delivering activity packed Summer Camps, focused on the production of a full-length professional feature film.
BYFA is open to all young people (14-25), regardless of background, contacts or experience.
At BYFA Summer Camps, students work with professional film-makers (who have included Brian Blessed, Todd Carty and Pauline Quirke), on a real film set to produce a full-length feature film. Activities include camera, grip, lighting, sound, music, art, acting, production and post production.
They are given the opportunity to gain the skills, confidence and hands-on experience to develop and grow, both as people and film-makers. And the quality of the film produced is great too – BYFA’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar premiered at the 2011 Raindance Film Festival.
The Co-operative’s £1.2 million, six-year partnership with The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is working towards creating the UK’s most accessible youth film making academy.
Case study: John Montegrande
John is 27 years old and has directed films for The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA). John first came into contact with the BYFA back in 2003, when he was a young student on a Performing Arts course at South Cheshire College. He was on the verge of dropping out, when his tutor persuaded him to get involved in an exciting feature film opportunity over the summer. Being part of such an inspirational project gave John a sense of purpose for the first time, and he began an acting degree.
However, personal problems forced John to leave University and he soon hit rock bottom, battling homelessness and drug addiction. "BYFA had already inspired me once, so I got in touch and was thrilled to be given an entry role as a Production Assistant – after that drugs became less and less important as I had something to strive for; and eventually they stopped altogether.
"From there I went from strength to strength, slowly being given more responsibility as I proved myself and developed both my technical ability and life skills, helping me to become a more rounded, stable person in the process.
"In summer 2010, I co-directed one of BYFA’s new feature films, a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which was premiered at the prestigious Raindance Festival in 2011. It felt amazing to be able to help people develop in the way that I’ve been helped".
The Co-operative Film Festival
The Co-operative Film Festival is a non-competitive and not-for-profit youth initiative aimed at encouraging young people to co-operate, develop creativity and express themselves.
It is one of the longest running film festivals in the country and a huge celebration of young people’s creative film-making. Since 1966, The Co-operative has given thousands of young people the exciting opportunity to see their work on the big screen in front of a live audience.
The festival is an inspiring and unique experience that can stimulate a successful career in the film and media industry from an early age. It is free to enter and attend.
For more information visit The Co-operative Film Festival website