The British Film Institute (BFI) began a scheme this year called Film Nation UK. It's mission is to "put film at the heart of children and young people's learning and cultural experience". It encourages and enables "watching, making and critical understanding of film". This provides children with the opportunity to explore filmmaking and it's processes while working together to create a film.
There are a plethora of skills to be learnt in the unpicking of the process: communication, writing, technical and creative to name a few. Film offers a unique insight into life around us, so improving a child's understanding of film enables them to view the world differently. Developing their critical understanding of film creates a more informed audience, allowing them to appreciate more complex subject matter.
When I was younger I was fascinated by the process of film making. I would repeatedly watch any 'making of' extras that came with the film. I was really drawn to the meticulous detail that went into the process and the camaraderie that there always seemed to be on set, everyone working hard in their individual roles, focused on creating an amazing end product.
But yet even though I was attracted to the film world, I never considered studying film or trying to be a part of the industry. It always seemed inaccessible, the equipment too complicated and the process too distant and too alien. The BFI Film Nation UK scheme demystifies the industry for young people before they have to make a decision about an expensive University course or working for free for months as a runner.
The media and film industry is one of the hardest to get into, but with this BFI scheme young people are given a head start if they choose to enter it in the future. Working in film and television requires skills that can be applied more broadly in the working world as highlighted above. It's important that even if young people don't pursue a career in the media, they are encouraged to explore creativity through courses and schemes such as these.
Inspiring creativity at a young age can develop problem-solving skills that can be later applied to a range of vocations such as engineering and architecture. Birmingham Made Me, an initiative from think tank Idea Birmingham is set to return in 2014. One of the aims of the initiative is to promote design-driven innovation, and connecting emerging creative talent in the Midlands to those world-leading brands based in the region. Schemes that nurture creativity such as Film Nation UK are an excellent opportunity for young people to find out just what they can do.