2 months ago, Cineworld, the UK’s leading cinema chain, teamed up with national communications charity, Media Trust, to launch "Dream to Screen" – a short film project which aims to discover young filmmaking talent from across the UK and Ireland.
The initiative is fronted by actor/rapper Ashley Walters ("Top Boy"), and supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren, both partiicipated in the judging panel.
Wannabe filmmakers were asked to submit a 90-second short film pitch, based on the theme "Inspiration" at www.dreamtoscreen.org between May 7, 2014 and June 16, 2014.
No previous filmmaking experience was required – anyone with a passion and an idea was encouraged to apply.
2 months since the initial announcement, the initiative has selected 5 finalists from over 500 entries sent by 16-25 year olds across the UK and Ireland. All finalists will be assigned a BAFTA mentor to help them produce their own short film and they will compete against each other in a public vote, based on their short films, starting on September 1. The winner will have their short film showcased in all Cineworld cinemas, and will win an all expense paid trip to LA to meet with various Hollywood figures, organised by 20th Century Fox.
The finalists are Onysha Collins, 23 years from London; George O’Regan, 16 years old from London; William Horsefield, 19 years old from Milton Keynes; Callum Costello, 25 years old from Newcastle and Sarah Grant, 24 years old from Glasgow.
Open to creatives between 16 and 25 years, "Dream to Screen" is a competition to assist them reach their creative ambitions. Finalists will be mentored through Media Trust’s youth mentoring scheme by industry experts provided by BAFTA. The finalists will also win thousands of pounds worth of industry-standard equipment, contributed by the Jack Petchey Foundation, to produce their films and to use on future projects.
“Dream to Screen is looking to support the next generation of film talent and, as a strong advocate for providing young people with opportunities, this is something I really respect and am proud to be part of. To be mentored by real professionals from the film industry provides these young people with an unparalleled platform to kick-start their career. The theme of the competition is ‘Inspiration’ so I’m really looking forward to discovering what inspires the nation’s young talent and urge any young person with an interest in film to get involved and apply,” said Ashley Walters.
Judge Helen Mirren added: “Dream to Screen is an exciting opportunity for young people to showcase their ideas, creativity and brilliance! The scheme opens doors to aspiring young filmmakers from all walks of life, giving them the chance to pick up tips from industry experts, plus the chance to see their work screened nationwide! I’d encourage budding talent to apply!”
And Judge Judi Dench further explained: “I whole-heartedly support Dream to Screen. When I began my career in 1957, I never went back to my dressing room between scenes but instead stood in the wings and watched how other people worked. I have always found this invaluable and the only way to learn about what we do. This is why mentors and initiatives like this are so very important.”
In the video below, meet Onysha Collins, the sole filmmaker hopeful of African descent of the selected 5. We might be hearing and writing about her in the future. She's certainly off to a good start.
Check out her website here.
For more on the "Dream to Screen" initiative, go here: http://www.dreamtoscreen.org/.