Launch of Childnet Film Competition 2017!

03 Mar 2017 Becca Cawthorne

Childnet, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre,  have launched the eighth Childnet Film Competition to encourage young people aged 7-18 to create a short film to educate their peers about staying safe online. 

With the aim of showcasing how young people can inspire others to make the internet a better place, the competition gives young people the opportunity to harness their creativity and understanding of online safety issues. This year’s theme focuses on how young people can ‘Be the Change’ and make the internet a better and safer place for all.

As Becky Nancarrow, Education Projects Officer at Childnet, said:

Over the past eight years, hundreds of young people have taken part in our Film Competition, demonstrating their incredible creative skills as well as educating and inspiring their peers about staying safe online. It’s clear to us that young people can be creators of change and help shape a better internet for all.

Be the change – taking part

The Film Competition is split into two age categories and schools or youth organisations must oversee and submit entries on behalf of all participants. The top three films in each category will be invited to a private screening at the BFI in London and the winners will be awarded film kits for their school or youth organisation.

Primary aged young people (7 – 11) are invited to create a 60 second film in response to the theme: ‘Be the Change – It starts with us’, looking at how young people can work together to make the internet a great and safe place.

Secondary aged young people (11 – 18) are invited to create a 2 minute film in response to the theme: ‘Be the Change – We’re online for good’, looking at what are young people doing to have a positive effect online. 

For both age groups Childnet are looking for creative, imaginative films which reflect a positive and inspiring message. Young people might express their ideas through comedy, animation, or music. They will be encouraged to consider different filmmaking styles such as creating an advert, campaign or documentary.

As one of the Secondary school category finalists from 2016 said about their film:

The message of the film is to think about how many people there are on the internet and how easy it is to make differences to the world. The way your actions, even very small actions, can affect millions of people quickly is both scary and useful at the same time, and you must remember that it is your choice to affect people positively or negatively.

If you would like to register a group of talented young people you know, then please send an email to for an information pack. The closing date for entries is Monday 12th June 2017 at 5pm.

Join the conversation on social media

To inspire young people to help others stay safe online, entrants are being encouraged to share their film competition stories on social media using the hashtag #bethechange.  Whether this is a message about the issues being explored, a picture from the creative process or even a tip from the young filmmakers, schools and youth organisations can share their updates with @Childnet

The judges

The winners will be decided by our expert panel which includes:

  • David Austin OBE, Chief Executive of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
  • Joanna van der Meer, Film Tutor and Family Learning Programmer at BFI Southbank
  • Catherine McAllister, Head of Safeguarding and Child Protection BBC Children’s

Important dates

  • Competition closes Monday 12th June 2017
  • Finalists notified Monday 19th June 2017
  • Screening and finalist’s event at the BFI Monday 3rd July 2017 

What last year’s finalists said

It gives children a real-life example of the film industry and how much time and effort goes into film-making

– Teacher

We learnt an array of skills that will help us in the future and on the rest of our media course. We developed our skills in Photoshop as well as thinking about how best to frame a shot and make sure we record to get good quality sound. We also further enhanced our capability to work together as a team to complete a task. 

– Young person, Secondary Category

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