YOUNG people are being given the opportunity to make it in the movies.

The Yorkshire Academy for Film and Television Acting (YAFTA), has launched ‘You Can’ - a competition for over 16s and aimed at those from underrepresented and minority groups, to win a scholarship worth nearly £8,000 on one of their diploma programmes.

And who better to support the campaign than Calverley’s very own rising star of the film and TV industry - 25-year-old Umar Hussain, whose previous credits include working on Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi.

Says Umar: “This scholarship from YAFTA is a fantastic chance for someone who aspires to have a career in the Film and TV industry but feel it’s not a sector open to them. I’m proof there is so much opportunity and potential out there, you’ve just got to believe and go for it!”

Founded by Leeds businesswoman, Charlotte Armitage, in 2013, YAFTA is an award-winning Acting Academy and Talent Agency providing acting classes, workshops and diplomas to children, teenagers and adults across locations including Bradford and Leeds.

Says Charlotte: “Here at YAFTA we are passionate about levelling the playing field in the acting industry for talented individuals regardless of their disability or ethnicity. We want to ensure that underrepresented groups are given the opportunity to follow their passion and are fully supported to launch their career in Film and TV industry.”

Also supporting the campaign is Umar’s father, local businessman Zulfi Hussain MBE who says: “I have long championed the opportunities within the media industry for young people from minority backgrounds launching the Excellence in Inclusion programme back in the early 2000s. There’s still lots to do as a sector and really pleased YAFTA is able to offer this exciting opportunity to someone from an underrepresented community.”

YAFTA’s Acting for Screen and Film and TV Production Diplomas are part-time courses led by skilled, industry experts and the only ones of their kind taught in the north. Applicants must be 16+. The shortlisted applicants will be invited to audition on Friday December 17. Visit