Leeds Young Film Festival proves a box office hit

Caption: The 'Mystery Machine' pictured outside Hyde Park Picture House for the screening of 'Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy!' at the Leeds Young Film Festival

This year’s Leeds Young Film Festival proved another major success, with over 4,000 people attending screenings and events and potential filmmakers of the future taking their first steps on the path to stardom.

This year’s programme was hugely popular, drawing people of all ages to new screenings and timeless classics as well as workshops, masterclasses and awards ceremonies.

Organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish, the festival in its 14th year featured anniversary screenings of films including ‘King Kong’, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’, ‘Beetlejuice’, ‘The Birds’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘My Neighbour Totoro’.

New films to be shown included the opening gala screening of Disney’s new fantasy ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ which was well received the audience, as was the closing gala film ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ – winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Emerging filmmaking talent was also to the fore, with the festival including the second Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owl Awards at Leeds Town Hall, and The INDIs (Independent Directions) Awards at Hyde Park Picture House, the UK’s only film competition solely dedicated to young filmmakers aged 24 and under.

Three of the young filmmakers nominated for the Golden Owl Awards were given the chance of a lifetime during the festival as 16-year-old Alfie Barker from Roundhay, 12-year-old Lucy Bickerton from Pudsey and 13-year-old Jacob Crow from County Durham appeared in front of a national television audience when they had their films assessed and praised by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle on ‘The One Show’ on BBC One.

Leading names were also on hand at the festival with appearances by Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt, Polish director Wiktor Skrzynecki, ‘We Are Poets’ director Alex Ramseyer-Bache and Heidi Renton from the British Board of Film Classification.

More than 20 new films were created in workshops held at the festival, including the Film: Doc Filmmaking Project, Robot Animate! (with Playful Leeds) and the Micro Short Film Challenge.

Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine also made an appearance at Hyde Park Picture House, while there was a special Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to accompany a screening of Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

The Leeds Young Film Festival also proudly supported child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“It was great to see so many people attending the Leeds Young Film Festival this year and enjoying every aspect of it.

“The event continues to evolve and develop, offering an ideal showcase for young filmmaking talent and that was perfectly demonstrated by three young filmmakers being given the amazing opportunity to meet Danny Boyle. Hopefully that will inspire lots of young people to get involved in film in Leeds and learn more about a possible career in the industry.”

Director of Leeds Young Film Festival Martin Grund said:

“Once again our audience has demonstrated that there is a huge appetite for films and filmmaking in Leeds and that Leeds Young Film Festival is providing opportunities that young people cannot get anywhere else.

“With the BFI Film Academy, Golden Owls and the Independent Directions Award, Leeds is emerging as one of the country’s leading cities for young filmmakers. It is encouraging to see so much young talent coming though the festival workshops and masterclasses and we are proud to be able to support and nurture the future stars of the British film industry.”

For more information contact Leeds Young Film at leedsyoungfilm@gmail.com

Award winners:

The award winners at this year’s Leeds Young Film Festival were as follows:

Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owls Awards:

• Westgate Primary, in the Schools Key Stage 1 category for The Space Trip

• Calverley Parkside Primary School, in the Schools Key Stage 2 category for Calverleyball

• Seth Powell (9), in the Individuals Under 11 category for The Running Shoe

• Sanctuary Housing (9-11), in the Community Groups Under 11 category for Tablet Trouble

• Amy Beedle (14), in the Individuals 12-15 category for Beware the Grey Girl

• 1st Stanningley Scout Troop (13), in the Schools & Community Groups 11-14 category for The Ward

• Carr Manor Community School (14-16), in the Schools & Colleges 15-19 category for Roll Tape

• Oliver Broadbent (18), in the Individuals 16-19 category for Wheatus – Lemonade

• William Burns and Luke Moran, won the Mediafish Perspective Award for Frenemies.

Young Filmmakers Day hosted the second INDIs (Independent Directions) Award, showcasing films by talented young people in its four age categories.

Winners of the INDIs at the 14th Leeds Young People's Film Festival were:

Under 10

Springbox by Zion Jeffers (8)


Beware the Grey Girl by Amy Beedle (14)


Cured by Kara Nelson (18)


First/Last by Kingsley Hoskins (22)

IAC Overall Prize

First/Last by Kingsley Hoskins (22)

Each age category winner receives £100 from Leeds Young Film Festival towards their next project with First/Last also picking up the £250 prize from the IAC for best overall independent short.

Younger Jury Award: A tie between ‘Alfie the Little Werewolf’ and ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’

Older Jury Award: ‘Approved for Adoption’

Audience Award: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

Notes to editors:

MediaFish is a cooperative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that is facilitated by Leeds Young Film. MediaFish are involved in the organisation, programme and marketing of the Leeds Young Film Festival and provide a variety of film screenings, workshops and masterclasses for all ages year round.

Leeds Young Film Festival and its events were supported by Creative England, BFI, IAC, Trinity Leeds and Logistik.


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk