Co-op puts £500k in Youth Film Academy to make features with 14-25 year-olds


A professional youth film company is searching for young movie-making talent for its latest full-length feature-films to be made in four UK regions during this year’s summer holidays. The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is holding auditions for the cast and crew of its latest films, offering young people the chance to experience the thrills and challenges of professional feature-film production.

The Co-operative Group’s £500,000 support for BYFA - part of its commitment to Inspiring Young People – this year, enables BYFA to offer more students a chance to experience the many aspects of film-making.

Embarking on its ‘epic’ challenge to simultaneously make four full-length feature films, in four UK regions - East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West - during this year’s school summer holidays, BYFA offers a unique educational opportunity for hundreds of young people - giving 14-25 year-olds, with an eye on a career in film, the chance to showcase their creativity and see their work on the silver-screen.

Todd Carty (left), well known for roles in Eastenders and The Bill, has been involved in three BYFA productions and is a supporter of the Academy, he said: “It is a terrific experience. I have loved every minute of it and the energy of the young people is fantastic. It is extremely inspiring to work with a group of such motivated individuals and the positive impact on all who participate is clear to see.”

Students are supported by mentors from the film industry and education and offered everything from acting to make-up, wardrobe to camera and, from post production through to the red carpet experience.

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns at The Co-operative Group, added: “Our support for The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is an integral part of our commitment to Inspiring Young People - designed to open up new ways for the next generation to seize opportunities and change their world for the better.

“For those who want to break into the movie industry, bridging the gap between education and practical experience is critically important. BYFA seeks to give all interested students, no matter what their background or ability, the chance to develop new skills and the confidence to pursuer a career in film, as well as helping prepare them for further education or future employment.”

Kevin Atkinson, Senior Manager at BYFA, continued: “I have worked in the professional performance industry and the education sector for nearly two decades and I have never stopped being amazed at the brilliance young people have and bring to their work.

“BYFA has a back catalogue of eight full-length feature films and this year, with The Co-operative’s support, its work with young people expands into four regions, helping to boost aspirations, ambitions and opportunities - I feel incredibly proud to be involved in supporting young people in their development and growth.”

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

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' current academic study. Unique to the 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’s enable students to experience each of the departments constituent within film production – acting, camera, grip, lighting, sound, music, art (set, construction, props, hair, make-up, prosthetics and wardrobe), catering, production, and postproduction (editing, sound, colour) - and so make informed choices about their careers. For information visit www.britishyouthfilmacademy