Youth Film Academy searching for up to 1,500 students for 'epic' summer challenge...

March 19, 2012

Budding young movie-makers are wanted for the cast and crew of five new feature films to be made by a youth film academy this summer.

Involving up to 1,500 students in all aspects of movie making, The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is embarking on an ‘epic’ challenge to shoot five films in five UK regions – North West, Yorkshire, East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales – during the school summer holidays.

Its creative mix of students working alongside professionals from the world of film and education allows The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) to offer everything from acting to camera and set design to hair and make-up to bridge the gap between education and the film industry.

John Montegrande, co-director of the BYFA movie “Julius Ceasar”

Actor John Henshaw who stars in BYFA’s latest film “The Rochdale Pioneers”, said: “BYFA brings together talented people from all backgrounds and all levels of skill to work hard together to make film. The application, dedication and professional standards are inspiring and, it bodes well for the British Film Industry that the wealth of talent out there is being supported, encouraged and nurtured by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy.”

Backed by a £1.2 million partnership with The Co-operative as part of its commitment to inspiring young people, BYFA is the UK’s only co-operatively run film academy. It is open to all 14-25 year-olds with free places available for students of its 19 member colleges or universities.

BYFA has produced eight full length feature films and its movie “Julius Caesar” was selected for the international Raindance Film Festival and premiered in London in October (2011).Actor John Henshaw who stars in the BYFA movie “The Rochdale Pioneers”

Kevin Atkinson, a Director of BYFA, said: “We are thrilled to be able to confirm our hectic summer schedule. The film industry is notoriously hard to break in to and it is our aim to break down those barriers. With The Co-operative’s backing we have further extended the reach of our summer camps, workshops and events. Their incredible investment in the next generation of filmmakers is giving more young people than ever the chance to seize this unique opportunity.”

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, concluded: “When opportunities, passion and enthusiasm collide it can truly be life changing and, this is exactly the kind of exciting environment that BYFA creates.

“Our work with BYFA is helping us to bring about a cultural shift in the way young people are viewed and treated in this country, a key objective of our commitment to Inspiring Young People.”

For more information about this year’s movie-making opportunities visit

Additional Information:

The Co-operative British Youth Film Acadamy, BYFA – itself a co-operative with 19 member colleges and universities in England and Wales  - offers students a unique and hands-on film-making experience. Mentored and supported by professionals from film and education, students are offered opportunities in everything from acting to make-up and, from wardrobe to camera and post-production to give young people the experience all of the thrills and challenges of a professional feature-film production. It is supported by The Co-operative Group as part of The Co-operative’s commitment to Inspiring Young People. Students or organisations wanting more information about The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy, BYFA, should visit

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5622
Mob: 07702 505551