News Archive

First Light

Subscribe to RSS RSSTuesday, 1st June, 2010

First Light is an organisation that funds young people across the UK to create digital film and media projects. Based in Birmingham, in the heart of Digbeth?s creative sector, the organisation believes that every young person regardless of gender, heritage or economic background should be given the chance to realise their creative potential, using a form of media that makes the most of their particular talents.

The brainchild of filmmaker Sir Alan Parker, First Light has enabled almost 30,000 young people between the ages of five and 19 to make more than 1,000 films and to create hundreds of media projects, including magazines, TV and radio broadcasts, comics and games.

The organisation selects and funds the projects that will most benefit young people?s film and media development. It partners young people with media professionals to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the media, and the aptitude to produce quality content accessible to the widest audiences.

First Light encourages imagination and the acquisition of technical skills that enable young people develop careers in the creative industries. Its projects also encourage the development of essential life skills such as social responsibility, communication and teamwork to help young people become active citizens; participants of our projects display increased self-confidence and greater vocational aspiration.

One of the few film industry organisations based outside of London, First Light works with partner organisations such as Pinewood Studios, EON Productions, Channel 4, CITV and BAFTA amongst others.

Each year, First Light hosts a major awards ceremony at the Odeon Leicester Square ? the event is the only national high-profile industry endorsed celebrity event for young people?s filmmaking. This year saw Sir Ian McKellen, Bill Nighy, Sharleen Spiteeri, Sam Mendez, Joseph Fiennes and Gemma Arterton amongst others involved as presenters and judges.

The organisation also manages Second Light ? a talent development scheme which uses production based training to give 30 talented young people aged 18-23, from BME backgrounds, supported opportunities to move into the film industry. The young people will be matched to mentors and will have access to training bursaries to hone their skills. The project will lead to work experience, training and potentially employment opportunities for the participants. The pilot phase has been co-funded by UK Film Council and Skillset.

First Light distributes Lottery money for the UK Film Council through the Young Film Fund and Second Light, and also distributes funding on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families, through our Mediabox programmes.

The films and media projects created by First Light projects cover many topics and genres, and make use of today?s accessible digital technologies to tell their stories with young people in control.

Ongoing evaluation of the company?s work has identified a number of benefits to young people and communities. First Light activity has been described as a ?life enhancing experience? that has given a voice to excluded and disadvantaged young people, developing their social and creative skills achieving results that participants would not have originally thought possible.