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THE Film Council have today announced the first stage of their innovative First Light project aimed at helping children and young people to make short digital films.
The £1 million Lottery-funded project will support the production of over 200 films during the next 12 months and are currently inviting applications from across the UK.
The Film Council's First Light project has been created to help hundreds of young people all over the UK develop their creative and practical skills using digital film. It aims to attract a broad cross-section of applicants, including youth organisations working with young people whose opportunities to experience filmmaking are limited. First Light, based at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, are managing the project for the Film Council and will oversee the production and exhibition of the films.
Young people can take part in the First Light project with media or youth organisations that already have, or can gain access to, filmmaking expertise. Alternatively, individuals can apply via a club or group and First Light will help them find an organisation or a person with the relevant film skills.
There are two First Light funding strands. Larger organisations that have experience running film projects and want to make up to ten short films can apply for a Large Scale Award. Individual groups planning to make a single short can apply for a Small Scale Award. Any type of organisation can make an application including film and video workshops, youth clubs, schools, production companies and drama groups.
Each award will support young people aged 8 to 18 years to make films up to ten minutes long, using a range of new digital technology. Working with mentors and advisors from the film industry, young people will take part in workshops and seminars to help them understand all the technical and creative elements of filmmaking. The focus of the training will be to ensure young people can manage the whole process from script writing through to editing. As well as exciting possibilities for the broadcasting and exhibition of the films, the scheme will also produce a set of support materials to help young people, youth workers and teachers through the whole production process.
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer at the Film Council said: "First Light represents the biggest push in the UK today to help young people get their first shot at making a short film on digital."

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