The CEA has today warmly welcomed plans announced by Film Nation UK for a new National Youth Film Festival.

Plans for the Festival were announced by Film Nation UK Chair Eric Fellner CBE at a launch event at the London Film Museum, Covent Garden.

The festival will deliver a nationwide programme of free film screenings and activities aimed at children and young people aged 5-19, and will run from October 21 to November 8. Pupils from all UK schools and youth groups will be invited to attend cinemas free of charge, with many also attending interactive workshops and Q&A sessions with industry professionals. All screenings will be tied into the National Curriculum to maximise their educational potential.

The Festival  – which builds on the previous work undertaken by National Schools Film Week – is part of a £26 million Lottery funding programme to run over the next four years bring run by Film Nation UK, a new charity for film education.

As part of the launch, the cross-industry group Cinema First – of which the CEA is a key member – announced that they would provide funding and in kind support to the Festival over the full four years of the current programme.

Mark Higham, chief executive of Filmclub – one of the two founding organisations of Film Nation UK – said:

“We have been working with the industry to create the National Youth Film Festival because we want to begin a long term relationship between young people and film.”

Welcoming the announcement, Rupert Gavin, Chief Executive of Odeon and UCI Cinema Group, said:

“We want our support for Film Nation UK to inspire the next generation of cinema-goers by immersing young people in every aspect of cinema, from demonstrating our cutting edge visual and audio technology, to showing the myriad innovations we have made as an industry to ensure that a trip to the cinema remains a unique experience.”

Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. UK, Ireland & Spain, added:

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Film Nation UK to help inspire and educate thousands of young people about the film industry and the many career opportunities that lay within. The work we’ll be doing together forms a key part of Warner Bros. Creative Talent, a major new investment in UK creative industries’ skills and training for the next generation.”

Further details on the Festival and the wider work of Film Nation will appear on the Film Nation UK website.