The first National Youth Film Festival celebrated its success with a closing ceremony featuring young people’s films at Vue Cinema, Leicester Square.

Throughout the three-week long festival, young people across the UK have participated in an array of film screenings, film industry Q&A’s and workshops. They watched films, discussed films and made films at over 1,000 events in 400 cinemas with the support of hundreds of film and cinema professionals. As well as enjoying fantastic film experiences, the educational impact on the young participants has been recognised, with 92 per cent of teachers surveyed saying that the experience was valuable in terms of broadening their pupil’s education.

Paul Reeve, CEO of Film Nation UK (the National Youth Film Festival organisers) commented:

“Young people across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have had the chance to engage with film in an extraordinary variety of ways: from attending special preview screenings, to participatory filmmaking workshops with professionals who work in front of and behind the camera.”

Speaking on behalf of Cinema First, the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association and Film Distributors’ Association, Steve Knibbs, Chief Operating Officer of Vue Entertainment said:

‘For many of the hundreds of thousands of young people that have attended these events, this has been their first visit ever to a cinema. Others are already more regular cinema-goers. But for all involved, we hope that their experience of the Festival will increase their desire to go to the cinema even more in the future and remind them what a wonderful experience it can be.’

The Festival also encouraged young people to be active participants, inviting them to enter films to the first ever National Youth Film Festival Awards. 450 films were submitted, covering a range of topics from cyber-bullying, to relationships and changing schools. Winners of the first ever National Youth Film Festival Awards were announced at the Closing Ceremony. Hosts at the event included high profile actors Jason Flemyng, Jim Carter, Theo Stevenson and film producer Rebecca O’Brien; and those making speeches included Eric Fellner, Co-Founder Working Title and Chair of Film Nation UK and Steve Knibbs, Chief Operating Officer of Vue Entertainment.

The Festival is supported is supported by industry partners including the BFI and Cinema First, additionally the closing ceremony event was used as a platform to announce a landmark collaboration with the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness, to deliver powerful, innovative and wide-reaching copyright education programmes to inspire millions of young people to respect intellectual property. The first of many pioneering educational programmes will be introduced in January 2014 with the launch of Creating Movie Magic — a project that includes free curriculum resources and offers young people the chance to openly debate the issue of copyright and become movie makers and IP owners themselves.

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