Lights, Camera, Action! …Youth Film Academy brings unique movie-making experience to Wales

16 March 2012

The silver-screen beckons for the next generation of young movie-maker as The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy today announces its arrival into Wales.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is now searching for budding talent to join the cast and crew of a new full length feature film to be shot in Wales this summer.

The first college in Wales to join the ranks of the BYFA  – whose creative mix of students and professionals offers unique opportunities for 14-25 year-olds to experience the thrills and challenges of professional feature-film production – has been confirmed as Yale College, Wrexham.

BYFA offers hands-on experiences in all aspects of film - from acting to make-up, wardrobe to camera, through to the red carpet experience - bridging the gap between education and the film industry. It is backed by The Co-operative

Kevin Atkinson, Operations Director of The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy, said: “We are a co-operatively run film academy and thrilled to welcome Yale College as our latest member. The film industry is notoriously hard to break in to and it is our aim to break down those barriers, making this opportunity accessible to all.

“Through The Co-operative’s incredible investment in the next generation of filmmakers we have further extended the reach of our summer camps, workshops and events – giving more young people than ever the chance to seize this unique opportunity.”

Jasbir Dhesi, Principal of Yale College, continued: “We are proud to be the first college to bring BYFA to Wales.  Its creative standards and production values are recognised as being of the very highest possible standard with its films striving for, and achieving, excellence. This exciting development will allow our students to gain practical experiences in all aspects of film as part of our work to prepare them for higher education and professional careers in the industry.”

BYFA has produced eight full length feature films and its movie “Julius Caesar” was selected for the international Raindance Film Festival and premiered in London in October (2011). Its film summer camps are open to all 14-25 year-olds with free places available for students of its member colleges or universities.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, added: “When opportunities, passion and enthusiasm collide it can truly be life changing and, this is exactly the kind of exciting environment that BYFA creates - our work with BYFA is helping us to bring about a cultural shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country, a key objective of our commitment to inspiring young people.”

Actor John Henshaw who stars in BYFA’s latest film “The Rochdale Pioneers”, concluded: “BYFA brings together talented people from all backgrounds and all levels of skill to work hard together to make film. The application, dedication and professional standards are inspiring and, it bodes well for the British Film Industry that the wealth of talent out there is being supported, encouraged and nurtured by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy.”

Students or colleges wanting further information about getting involved with BYFA should visit


Additional Information:

The Co-operative British Youth Film Acadamy, BYFA – itself a co-operative with 19 member colleges and universities in England and Wales  - offers students a unique and hands-on film-making experience. Mentored and supported by professionals from film and education, students are offered opportunities in everything from acting to make-up and, from wardrobe to camera and post-production to give young people the experience all of the thrills and challenges of a professional feature-film production. It is supported by The Co-operative Group as part of The Co-operative’s commitment to Inspiring Young People. Students or organisations wanting more information about The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy, BYFA, should visit
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest member-owned organisation with six million members. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5622
Mob: 07702 505551