The Co-operative provides funding boost for next generation of young movie-making talent

10 June 2011

The Co-operative Group

Forming an integral part of its commitment to Inspiring Young PeopleThe Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is helping to create the UK’s most accessible youth film making academy.

Offering the thrills and challenges of professional full-length feature film production, BYFA delivers a unique educational opportunity for 14 - 25 year-olds - providing hands-on film-making experiences, through its summer camps, events and workshops, to equip young people, with an eye on a career in film, with the skills and confidence to make informed decisions about future education or career choices.

With eight films in the can and, a further four planned for 2011, students are mentored by professionals from both the film industry and education and offered everything from acting to make-up, wardrobe to camera and, post production through to the red-carpet experience.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative Group’s Head of Community and Campaigns, said: “When opportunities, passion and enthusiasm collide it can truly be life changing and, this is exactly the kind of exciting environment created by BYFA.

“This partnership is playing a key role in helping to bring about a cultural shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country - a key objective of The Co-operative’s commitment to Inspiring Young People.”

Kevin Atkinson, Senior Manger at BYFA, continued: “We are all absolutely thrilled with this news – it is an incredible investment in the next generation at a time when many funding streams are being cut or reduced.

“I am incredibly proud of the students’ work and to be involved in the positive and life changing outcomes that BYFA consistently delivers. When the project originally started we had a vision and, with The Co-operative’s backing and support, it is has come to life.

“This year we have expanded into four UK regions and we can now look to further build on this - extending the reach of our summer camps, workshops and events into new regions to give more young people exciting opportunities in which to grow, develop and to realise their talents and potential.”

During 2011, The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is embarking on an ‘epic’ challenge to simultaneously make four full-length professional standard feature films, in four UK regions – North West, Yorkshire, East, and West Midlands - during the school summer holidays.

Earlier this year, BYFA’s film Re:Evolution – where students worked alongside actor, author and adventurer Brian Blessed - was screened at the 44th Houston International Film Festival. The Festival recognises outstanding creative excellence in film and, BYFA picked up a ‘Remi Award’ at its gala dinner.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy’s film ‘Julius Caesar’ enjoyed a special cast and crew premiere screening at The Odeon, Manchester, in March (2011).

And, BYFA also appeared in The Co-operative Group’s “Join the Revolution” TV ads, a campaign showcasing local people who, with a little help from The Co-operative, are instigating real change.

For more information about The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy visit

About The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) provides a solid link between the commercial film industry and all branches of media education, by offering professional standard training and vocational experience twinned with students' academic study.

BYFA Promo 2011 low quality from britishyouthfilmacademy on Vimeo.

Unique to BYFA, students, from 14 years of age right through to postgraduate levels of education, work with professional filmmakers to produce a full-length feature film. What’s more, they get their name in the films credits - making its students more attractive to potential employers.

Its Summer Camp enables students to experience each of the departments constituent within film production, including: acting, camera, grip, lighting, sound, music, art, hair, make-up, prosthetics, wardrobe, catering, production, performance and postproduction …right through to the red carpet experience!

BYFA is itself a co-operative, its membership consists of Further and Higher Education institutions in the North West, West Midlands, East Midlands & Yorkshire.

For further information, images, interviews and case studies, contact:

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