Young Leeds filmmaking duo thrilled after meeting Oscar winner Danny Boyle

Captions: Image above (left to right) Lucy Bickerton, Alfie Barker and Jacob Crow on the set of 'The One Show', while top images show Alfie and Lucy with director Danny Boyle

Two young Leeds filmmakers were given the chance to meet one of the world’s leading directors this week as they appeared on national television with Oscar winner Danny Boyle.

Alfie Barker, aged 16 from Roundhay, and 12-year-old Lucy Bickerton from Pudsey met the mastermind of the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the director of a host of hit films including ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ when they were guests on ‘The One Show’ on BBC One.

Together with 13-year-old Jacob Crow from County Durham, the trio were given the chance to show their short films, which have been shortlisted for awards at the Leeds Young Film Festival which started this week, to the superstar director.

Reflecting on the experience, Alfie Barker said:

“It was brilliant to meet him, he’s a really friendly guy. He was happy to chat to us and he signed cards for us and wished us all good luck. It was nerve-wracking to be on the show, and it was especially weird to see someone like Danny Boyle just sitting there on the sofa.”

Alfie is a rising star of the Leeds film scene, having won the overall title at last year’s festival in the Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owl Awards which showcases emerging talent from across the city.

He is also competing at this year’s The INDIs (Independent Directions) Awards, the UK’s only film award solely championing and celebrating the talent of the UK’s young independent filmmakers aged under 25. The ceremony takes place on Monday 1 April at Hyde Park Picture House as part of the annual event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish.

Meeting Danny Boyle has given Alfie additional inspiration to secure a career in film, as he added:

“Meeting him has definitely given me a boost. I’d love to have his job! I really just want to go out now and make a film.

“I’m looking to be a film director but any job in the film industry would be great. There’s something special about the magic of watching a film, as your life is forgotten about and it takes you away from reality. I’d really like to be part of that.”

Alfie also had words of praise for the culture in Leeds which supports the next generation of filmmakers. He said:

“Leeds is a great place for encouraging young people who are interested in film. I started when I was nine when I joined the young consultants looking at drama and it went from there. Leeds Young Film and MediaFish are really good so it’s all there for anyone who wants to get involved.”

Fellow award-nominee Lucy Bickerton was similarly star-struck at the chance to meet Danny Boyle and appear on television in front of a viewing audience of millions.

Lucy said:

“I was shocked when I was told I was going on television and meeting Danny Boyle. I was really nervous but it was really exciting.

“He was a really nice and we got to have a chat with him after the show where he gave us some great advice. He said if we want to get into the film industry we just need to keep doing what we are doing, making films and entering competitions.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I have had loads of messages from my friends and family about it.”

This year’s event is Lucy’s first involvement with the Leeds Young Film Festival, with her short film about zombies being the first work she has ever produced.

Lucy is now considering a career in the industry, adding:

“I love going to the cinema and watching films, it is an escape from reality and takes you to another world, it’s so exciting. I can’t wait for the Leeds Young Film Festival to show my film and I definitely want to make more and am looking at a career in films.”

The 14th Leeds Young Film Festival began on Monday and runs until Friday 5 April, showcasing the best emerging new talent and classic films such as ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘King Kong’ as well as workshops and masterclasses.

The Leeds Young Film Festival is also a proud supporter of 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.

Director of Leeds Young Film Festival Martin Grund said:

“We were thrilled for Lucy and Alfie to be given the chance to appear on The One Show and meet Danny Boyle, one of the world’s greatest directors. This is the kind of opportunity that can change young people’s lives forever and we’re proud that this came about because of Leeds Young Film Festival.

“They loved the experience and in terms of raising the profile of the Leeds Young Film Festival it was fantastic. We hope lots of young people in Leeds were watching and will come along to this year’s festival while it is on and be inspired to get involved themselves.”

The episode of The One Show is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer until Sunday 31 March at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rkygd

The segment with Lucy, Alfie, Jacob and Danny Boyle begins 25 minutes into the programme.

For more information on this year’s Leeds Young Film Festival visit www.leedsyoungfilm.com

Notes to editors:

Leeds Young Film Festival is presented by MediaFish and Leeds City Council. MediaFish is a co-operative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that are 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.

Golden Tickets are on sale through www.leedsyoungfilm.com and City Centre Box Office on 0113 224 3801 and are priced at: £15.00 Single Golden Ticket, £25 Double Golden Ticket and £40 Family Golden Ticket. For full details visit www.leedsyoungfilm.com

For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472,

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk