‘Film is a powerful way of educating others and yourself’ Why you should enter the Childnet Film Competition 2019
Delivered as part of Childnet’s work in the UK Safer Internet Centre, the Film Competition 2019 is now open for entries.
Want to know what it’s like to enter (and win) the Childnet Film Competition? We spoke to Jude, who won the competition in 2016, about his experience of entering and the impact it has had on both him and his school.
Hi Jude, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your filmmaking experience?
Well I’m a 14 year old Animator, who fell in love with the art at the age of 6 and ever since I have been film making and storytelling. This is something I will continue to do the rest of my life and I feel very passionate about. I honestly believe I have Childnet to thank for that.
I entered the Childnet Film Competition 3 times and actually was asked to judge for the competition once. I can still remember when my year 4 teacher told me about this competition and that I had got into the final, it was one of the best days of my life.
What was one key thing you learnt from taking part in the competition?
I learned that a person who has no help or experience with any form of filmmaking can make something amazing. That you don’t need special equipment, all you need is an idea and you. I also learnt that film is a powerful way of educating others and yourself. The process of making a film, researching, creating and editing is a powerful way to learn.
Can you tell us about your experience of being at the finalists’ event?
It was absolutely fantastic and is difficult to describe in terms of excitement. The experience of seeing your film on the big screen, like films you see in the cinema, is something utterly wonderful and it really shows you that it if you put your heart and soul into something you can achieve it. Meeting other like-minded young people and celebrating their success too is inspiring. The whole event is incredible, getting a British board of film classification for my films is something I still pinch myself over!
Do you think film is a good way of teaching young people about online safety?
We are the first generation who will spend our whole lives influenced by technology and the Internet. The internet is a massive part of all our lives and using film to educate people is an incredibly useful tool. As a dyslexic I understand that lots of people are visual learners and being able to have children watch and even make films is an amazing way for people to learn.
Our generation have the power to change our future through an art form, which has been around for over a hundred years, but only recently having the technology to make the magic ourselves. There is no better way to learn than to do it yourself. Internet safety is an important issue that young people face everyday. It is easy to forget the impact that we can have on real people’s lives by our online behaviour and also the impact the Internet has on young people’s lives too.
Do you still want to pursue a career in animation and if so, did the competition help you on this journey?
I definitely, without a doubt, want to pursue a career in animation. The competition was fundamental in helping me come to this decision. It provided me with opportunities to meet industry professionals, get advice and even further opportunities. I was asked to make an animation (Jessica’s wish) for Safer Internet Day, which was an honour. Also it has led me to enter other competitions because of the confidence and support Childnet have given me.
My experience of being involved in the Childnet competition, even at the age of 6, was one where I was treated like a professional from the moment I stepped onto the red carpet. By treating young people in this way it raises expectation not only in others but also in themselves. I went from being a small boy with small dreams to a person who aspired for bigger things.
The first time I entered I didn’t win. I became more determined. The second time I entered I didn’t win, I kept working on my skills. The third time I actually won which was incredible but it made me realise, that it doesn’t matter if you win or not the experience and the support and being involved in such an amazing competition is better than any trophy.
The thing I love about Childnet, is that both my primary school and my secondary school have benefited by the prizes I have won. In my secondary school I was asked to be a curriculum advisor for art and we used the equipment to teach the year 8’s all about animation and now every year it is their favourite topic in art.
Because of Childnet my school has managed to further integrate film into the curriculum, reaching more children in a way that could never have been done otherwise.