Get ‘animated’ about adding finishing touches to new movie by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy

March 15, 2012

A new movie by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy is drawing on community creativity to add the finishing touches to its first ever animated feature.

“Richard II” was shot during last year’s school summer holidays with The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy’s (BYFA) creative mix of students and professionals from the world of film and education.

Now in post-production, the movie is undergoing BYFA’s new special visual affects treatment which converts live-action into realistic animation.

BYFA is now inviting members of the community to send in their brush-strokes to the academy to build up a data-base of colours to animate the movie and earn a mention in the scrolling credits at the end of the film.

Kevin Atkinson, Operations Director of The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy, said: “Making our first animation is an exciting development for us and, broadens the scope of skills and experiences that we can offer to students. Richard II in noted for its dense text and our approach – which animates live action – aims to broaden the appeal and accessibility of this film while bringing Shakespeare’s work to a new audience.”

Members of the community are invited to submit a single brush-stroke to be used in the creation of the film.  Once collected, the brush-strokes will be animated into the film under the guidance of the film’s director, John Montegrande, who co-directed the BYFA film “Julius Caesar” which was selected for the international Raindance Film Festival and premiered in London last October (2011).

Simply paint, draw or sculpt a brush-stroke of your choice onto a white or black background. Take a digital photo or scan – if not already created on a computer - and email to by 30 March 2012 along with your full name and contact details. 

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy - itself a co-operative with member Colleges and Universities in Yorkshire, the North West, East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales - is backed by The Co-operative whose £1.2million six year partnership with BYFA forms an integral part of its commitment to inspiring young people.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, added: “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.”

Students or colleges wanting further information about getting involved with BYFA should visit

Additional Information:

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
T: 0161 827 5622
M: 07702 505551