Finalists received 1-to-1 virtual masterclasses from the likes of Konnie Huq, Reggie Yates, Jessica Hynes, Rob Delaney, BBC Children’s Cheryl Taylor, Harry Hill, Matthew Lewis, Amelia Dimoldenberg and Robert Popper.
The BFI, through its Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), has today announced the winners of its See Yourself on Screen Challenge – a UK-wide competition for 4-18-year olds, launched by doctor and TV presenter Dr Ranj Singh last month. Fifteen winners have received virtual masterclasses from mentors including Rob Delaney, Reggie Yates, Harry Hill, Konnie Huq, Matthew Lewis and Jessica Hynes, and their TV shows will now premiere on national TV across Channel 5’s Milkshake!, CITV, E4, S4C (Welsh language) and TG4 (Irish language), next month.
The pan-industry initiative, supported by Animation UK, BAFTA Kids, film education charity Into Film, The Children’s Media Conference, Pact and Northern Ireland Screen, called on young people from all corners of the UK to create and star in their own mini-TV show, reflecting their lives amidst lockdown. The See Yourself on Screen Challenge was launched by the BFI as part of the Young Audiences Content Fund, which supports the development and production of high-quality television which truly reflects the lives of children and young people in the UK, screening on free-to-air, public service broadcasting channels.
Hundreds of young people sent in their 30-second video pitches, with an esteemed panel of industry judges choosing 15 overall winners. The finalists then received one-to-one virtual masterclasses from famous and influential figures from the world of TV: Konnie Huq, Jessica Hynes, Rob Delaney, Cheryl Taylor, Harry Hill, Matthew Lewis, Amelia Dimoldenberg, Robert Popper and Reggie Yates. Each mentor offered hints and tips to help guide the finalists through the script writing and shooting process, before the finalists turned their idea into a reality.
The two-minute long mini-TV shows for 4-7’s (Milkshake!) and 8-13’s (CITV) will air between 8th-10th July, with indigenous language winners airing in Welsh (S4C) and Irish (TG4), and 14-18’s (E4) will air w/c 13h July.
“We launched the See Yourself on Screen Challenge as a way of giving a platform to young people from across the UK, whose lives have changed significantly during the Covid-19 lockdown, and we were utterly thrilled to receive so many brilliant pitches. The Young Audiences Content Fund exists to bring quality content which entertains and reflects young people from all over the UK, and this Challenge has enabled them to tell their own stories on screen and, excitingly, have it aired on national television; it’s a real celebration of the creativity of our young people for everyone to enjoy.
“This Challenge was also a great chance for our industry colleagues who care about great public service broadcast to join hands with young people and do something supremely positive for young audiences all over the UK for whom television has taken on an even more significant role in their lives during lockdown.”Jackie Edwards, Head of the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund
The winners’ finished projects, which they filmed themselves at home during lockdown, and their mentors are as follows:
Age category 4-7 (airing on Milkshake!)
- ‘Squeaks and Wheeks’, a guide to owning and caring for guinea pigs, created by 4-year old Betsy from Cambridgeshire, mentored by actor, writer and Paddington 2 star, Jessica Hynes
- ‘Home But Not Alone’, a poetry monologue that addresses the highs and lows of lockdown, made by 7-year old Joshua from County Antrim mentored by actor and Harry Potter star, Matthew Lewis
- ‘Sophia and Luisa’s Cookie Kitchen’, an instructional cooking show, created by 6-year old identical twins Sophia and Luisa from Gwynedd, Wales, mentored by TV presenter and writer Konnie Huq
Age category 8-13 (airing on CITV)
- ‘Kyle & Sam’s Allotment Lockdown’,a fun and informative guide to gardening, planting and growing your own food, created by 9-year old Kyle from West Midlands (and his younger brother, Sam), mentored by actor, comedian and Catastrophe star Rob Delaney
- ‘What are you really missing?’, a character comedy sketch show about missing your families in lockdown, created by 10-year old Ruby from
North Lanarkshire, Scotland (who now lives in Buckinghamshire), mentored by comedian and writer Harry Hill
- ‘When Kids Rule, Parents Drool’ a creative game show that puts parents in the hot seat,created by 10-year old Josiah from Cheshire, mentored by Head of BBC Children’s content, Cheryl Taylor
Age category 14-18 (airing on E4)
- ‘Lock-DIY-Down’, a comic depiction of a lockdown DIY project created by 16-yearold Sameera from Essex, mentored by Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper
- ‘The Guide To A Fun Lockdown’, a creative animation that follows the life of a teenager in lockdown, created by 17-year old Harvey from East Sussex, mentored by comedian and Chicken Shop Date creator Amelia Dimoldenberg
- ‘Charlie’, a short character documentary that portrays the struggles of being a transgender teenager, created by 14-year old Holly from North Yorkshire, mentored by broadcaster, writer and director Reggie Yates
Age category 8-13 (airing on S4C in welsh language) –
- ‘Pethau Cwl (‘Cool Stuff’), a fun snappy film looking at how to use special effects for various hobbies and school projects, created by 12-year old Ianto, from Carmarthenshire, mentored by TV presenter Owain Williams
- ‘Bachgen yn erbyn Natur’ (‘Boy by Nature’), an outdoor feast as a young boy takes on the world of nature setting himself challenges and physical goals created by 10-year old Osian, from Ceredigion, mentored by TV presenter Owain Williams
- ‘Lolian efo Elan’ (Lolz with Elan), a jam-packed film full of fun and clever tricks that everyone can try at home created by 9-year old Elan from Gwynedd, mentored by TV presenter Owain Williams
Age category 8-17 (airing on TG4 in Irish language)
- ‘Tóraíocht na Scáileán’ (‘Screen Hunt’), a comedy ‘screen/device search’ created by 11-year old Róise, from Donegal, mentored by TV and weather presenter Caitlín Nic Aoidh
- ‘Ag déileáil le Covid'(‘Dealing with Covid’), a play-along show, with games, challenges and activities, created by 13-year old Lucy, from County Antrim, mentored by TV presenter, producer and journalist Caoimhe Ní Chathail
- ‘Damhsa tríd an dianghlasú’ (‘Dance in intense lockdown’), how the creator learned the skill of Irish dancing online during Covid lockdown, created by 16-year old Ciarán, from Donegal, mentored by TG4 television host Micheál Ó Ciaraidh.