Wednesday 25th January 2017. Applications are now open for SHORTFLIX, a new development and production programme offering ambitious young people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make their first short film, which audiences will be able to watch through Sky Arts on demand platform.

Creative England, the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and Sky Arts are joining forces for this initiative, which will provide training and mentorship from industry professionals to ensure young filmmakers gain practical skills and experience as they take their first steps in the industry. Training is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds.

SHORTFLIX is for aspiring filmmakers aged 18-25 who are not in full-time education, employment or training, and have an idea for a short film that tells their own story, or that of their community, heritage, identity or area.

Of the applicants, twenty projects will be selected for development from initial idea to script or outline stage. After the initial development period, five distinctive short films will be chosen to be produced, working with a professional producer, crew and budget of up to £10,000 each,  The final films will be available to watch through Sky Arts on demand platform.

For young people interested in the programme, a series of roadshow events will take place across the regions, starting in Manchester on 25th January, where young filmmakers will be able to find out more and learn how to pitch their short film idea. Further roadshows will take place in Nottingham on 31st January, London on 6th February and finishing in Bristol on 16th February. 

Caroline Norbury, CEO of Creative England, comments: “We’re delighted to be launching this programme, which provides an entry point into the film industry for talented and ambitious young people who might previously have found it impossible to take that first step. This is an important part of our mission to introduce new and diverse voices into the film industry, and support them in telling the story of their lives and culture. It is also a key element of Creative England’s ongoing relationship with Sky Arts, which supports television production from the English Regions.”

The development programme for the shortlisted filmmakers will begin in April and run throughout 2017. For more details on how the programme will run and to apply, please visit: 

Paul Roseby, CEO and Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, says: “As the debate continues around the lack of equality and diversity in certain areas of the creative industries, we are proud at the National Youth Theatre of our continuing commitment to work with leading creatives to offer free alternatives to expensive formal training. Our mission is to discover Britain’s best raw young talent in all its diverse brilliance and put them in front of an audience and this important initiative will do both those things. This new exciting partnership is testament to our success reaching and connecting those most in need with life-changing opportunities.”

Philip Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: “As the UK’s only dedicated arts channel, Sky Arts is committed to supporting creative people and original film-making.  This partnership with Creative England and the National Youth Theatre will help to find and nurture the next generation of talent from a range of diverse backgrounds, giving them an exciting opportunity to tell their stories and showcase them through Sky Arts.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 8 March 2017.

About Creative England
Creative England invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. We aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential.  We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs.

About the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain is a world-leading youth arts charity. Established in 1956, we have nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people including global stars like Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Chiwetel Ejiofor. We inspire, nurture and showcase exceptional performers and theatre technicians from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commissioning brave and relevant new writing and reinterpreting classic stories for our time.

About Sky 
Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company with 22 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of over £4.6 billion. The company employs 31,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).  For more information visit 

About Creative Skillset 
Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative industries to develop skills and talent, from classroom to boardroom. 

About the Film Skills Fund 
Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund invests in the skills and training of the UK film industry to secure its growth and sustainability ensuring UK film remains world-class. The Film Skills Fund is backed by the British Film Institute (BFI) with the National Lottery funds. 

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