Edinburgh International Film Festival looks to offer inspiring opportunities for young people

Inspiring new talent: actor Martin Compston with Young Talents last year
Inspiring new talent: actor Martin Compston with Young Talents last yearEdinburgh International Film Festival

The Edinburgh International Film Festival, which takes place next month, has announced a series of opportunities for young people to explore film.

Building on last year’s inaugural initiative, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) will offer 25 young people a unique opportunity to participate in the 2012 festival.

The Young Talents programme is aimed at film fans aged between 16 and 18, with selected participants given a free EIFF Student Pass allowing them access to Industry events, press and industry screenings and an exclusive Young Talents events programme, as well as selected parts of the public programme. Young Talents is supported by Creative Scotland and through the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

EIFF is now accepting applications for Young Talents 2012 and is welcoming all applicants aged 16 to 18 years old with an interest in film and who are able to be in Edinburgh during the festival dates from 20 June to 1 July. The deadline for applications is 23 May and can be accessed at edfilmfest.org.uk/learning.

Young Talents was launched at the 2011 Festival and involved 21 young people who participated in over 30 events and screenings including private Q&A sessions with actor Ewen Bremner (Perfect Sense; Trainspotting), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen, The Damned United) and director Dominic Allan (Calvet).

Designed to inspire young people with an interest in film to pursue a career in the industry, Young Talents explores film analysis, performance and craft, and aims to reveal the routes young people can take into the UK film industry.

Laurence Williams, 18, who participated last year, said: “There were so many events to take advantage of and I hope that I will make use of all the information and advice given.

“It was amazing meeting, talking to, and hearing from people with experience and knowledge in the film industry.”

For those in further and higher education, EIFF has announced the Student Critics Award Jury that will offer three places for aspiring film critics to attend EIFF and view a shortlisted programme of films.

Working with two established critics as mentors, the Jury will develop their writing and critical skills during their time at EIFF. The Jury will select the winner of the inaugural Student Critics Award at EIFF’s Awards Ceremony on 30 June. Applicants for the Student Critics Award Jury will be asked to submit 400 words on a particular film or an aspect of cinema. Further details are available from education@cmi-scotland.co.uk.

EIFF 2012 also sees the return of Edinburgh Schools Film Competition in partnership with Screen Education Edinburgh and Arts & Learning, City of Edinburgh Council.

Open to all pupils in City of Edinburgh Council run nurseries, primaries, secondary and special education schools, the competition will see selected films share the festival limelight with leading filmmakers from around the world. Work is viewed and selected by a young people’s jury who also coordinate and present the Schools Film Competition Award Ceremonies during the festival.

David Barras, filmmaker and jury coordinator, said: "Having worked with groups who have submitted films and now being behind the scenes on the jury, I can honestly say that the ideas, creativity and imagination of young people in Edinburgh is always startling and the films represent an amazing breadth of inventiveness and originality.

“It's great that the competition and its eventual winners are all decided by other young people."

The chosen films will screen to the public on Saturday 23 June for primary, and Sunday 24 June for secondary schools.

For school audiences, there will be a range of screenings, including two Media Days for High Schools, containing short and feature film screenings, master-classes and the chance to meet filmmakers and industry professionals on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 June. There will also be opportunities for primary schools and students of Modern Studies to attend film screenings.

Film screenings support teachers and students in their learning and each film is carefully chosen from the main programme to support the Curriculum for Excellence. Full details of the schools programme are available at www.edfilmfest.org.uk/learning or by contacting education@cmi-scotland.co.uk.  

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