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Hopes for Bradford Film Festival link
A showpiece youth centre hopes to run a young people’s film festival alongside the annual Bradford International Film Festival.
The plan is just one ambitious idea being explored by bosses at Culture Fusion, who want to develop a film and arts specialism at the centre in a bid to attract young visitors from further afield.
Youth centre Culture Fusion opened in a redeveloped mill in Thornton Road, Bradford, in November 2011. The multi-million pound centre is run as a partnership between Bradford Council and the City of Bradford YMCA and its state-of-the-art facilities include a music studio and stage area.
The centre’s chief executive, Paul Colley, said he hoped to tap into Bradford’s reputation for filmmaking excellence and link up with the work being done by the National Media Museum, Bradford College and Bradford UNESCO City of Film to get more young people involved in the film industry, either in front of or behind the camera.
He said: “Bradford is the first UNESCO City of Film, and there are some signs on lampposts, but what does it mean?
“Let’s give it some meaning and get young people involved in it. It’s a real accolade for Bradford and we have got a real history in film-making.
“Every child has a mobile phone that they can film stuff on. It would be nice to see them being creative and divert them from ‘happy slapping’ and get them involved in creativity.”
Mr Colley said he wanted to offer taster sessions in different aspects of filmmaking at the centre, similar to the sessions in construction skills offered in many schools and colleges.
He said: “We are looking to develop a lot of activities around all sorts of areas, like drama, set design, costume design, script writing, direction – creating their own stories that they can then put into film.”
Mr Colley said youth unemployment was one of Culture Fusion’s main concerns and getting a job in the UK film industry was a real possibility for Bradford’s young people.
He said: “With Bradford’s place as a City of Film it might lead to employment, so it’s about opening people’s eyes to the opportunities.”
Mr Colley said one of their biggest ambitions was to develop a youth version of the Bradford International Film Festival, run each year by the National Media Museum, and said he was seeking sponsorship for the project.
He said: “To get funding for a film festival for young people, run in conjunction with the National Media Museum’s film festival, would be a massive coup for us.”
And he said while Culture Fusion was being visited by many young people from the city, he hoped developing the arts and film specialism would help it attract more young visitors from out-of-town areas.
He said: “We are located in the city centre and Bradford is quite a sprawling area. We need to have something worthwhile for people to make the effort to come into the city centre for.”
The first event being held at Culture Fusion is a film skills holiday scheme at Easter, where young people aged 11 to 19 can learn about set design, stage make-up, costume design, music, sounds effects and acting. Sessions cost £15 per day.
For more information, phone (01274) 307228.