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30/10/2009

Top Media Minds 'Offer New Direction'

Channel 4's leading interactive media specialist Ewan McIntosh and a funky 3D disco were just two of the attractions at a North East conference aimed at engaging young people with interactive media.
Northern Film & Media's flagship media literacy conference, New Directions welcomed almost 100 guests to the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle this week.
New Directions offered a day of keynote speeches, interactive seminars, demonstrations and networking opportunities.
Ewan McIntosh, Channel 4's Digital Commissioner for Scotland, Northern Ireland and North East England, said: "I was more than happy to lend my support and the support of Channel 4's Innovation for the Public Fund to New Directions. Innovations online, on mobile and in gaming are both inspired by and, increasingly, made by younger generations. The barriers to entry are falling for those who want to not just use web tools in innovative ways, but make the tools of tomorrow.
"Understanding the complex issues that new publishing, collaborative and participate platforms raise - media literacy, as some call it - is vital for everyone as we head into 2010. It's vital not only for those who want to work in those creative industries, but for all of use who want to participate in the way our lives are run."
Paul Hewlett is the Programme Manager at national organisation First Light. He let attendees know how to access funds and share information on the kinds of projects that First Light have backed over the years. First Light is the UK's leading initiative enabling young people to realise their potential via creative digital film and media projects. It operates a number of youth funding schemes, including The Young Film Fund - distributing £1.1 million pounds of UK Film Council National Lottery cash each year - Second Light and Mediabox.
Other highlights at this year's New Directions included sessions and demonstrations from Jo Taylor and Kate Edwards of 4Talent, the Tyneside Cinema's Pickin' Flicks young programmers scheme, 3D Disco, Friispray, Media 19 and Stephen Green from the Entrepreneur's Forum.
Roxanna Bramley, Digital Media Manager at organisers Northern Film & Media said: "The focus of this year's New Directions event was engaging young people in media. Our line-up of speakers was first rate, from leading national organisations to some wonderful North East projects.
"It has become clear in recent years that the media, in all of its forms, is an increasingly important and useful part of all of our lives. It is important we work to equip young people with the skills, experience and enthusiasm to use interactive media and moving image to express them in the evolving modern world."
This was the fifth time Northern Film & Media, the Screen Agency for North East England, has held New Directions. The event traditionally moves around the North East and has previously been held in venues in Stockton and Hexham. This year New Directions was supported through the UK Film Council's Education Pilot and venue partners at the Tyneside Cinema.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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