Motion Picture Association and Childnet encourage young people at “Our Future Storytellers” event

Jul 30, 2021

Aspiring directors, actors and filmmakers were told “when we protect creatives, we protect the whole industry” during a special edition “Film School Friday” event hosted July 16 by Childnet International and the Motion Picture Association. The event highlighted the exciting career opportunities in the film and TV sector for young people and the skills it takes to become one of our future great storytellers.

Young listeners learned what it takes to become actors, producers and directors making the next blockbuster hit, and they learned the importance of intellectual property rights in ensuring creatives get paid for their work, allowing them to keep making content that audiences love.

This event follows Childnet’s film competition, where schools across the UK were invited to explore the theme of internet safety while celebrating creativity and honing their filmmaking skills.

MPA EMEA President and Managing Director Stan McCoy said that “some of the best opportunities come in the form of film competitions.” He told viewers that “behind every film and television production, there is this army of people fulfilling their different roles”.

Winners of Childnet’s Film Competition (Rosalyn Harper 2021, Jude Rogers 2016 and Keith Chirozva 2015) told listeners how entering the film competition can help launch a career in the creative sector.

Keith Chirozva, former Childnet Film Award winner and animation undergraduate, said that winning the competition was “life changing” for him. “I gained the approval that my work is decent from the Childnet Film Competition, and I decided to take it further,” he said. “It went from being a hobby to something I can potentially make a living from.”

“I tried to improve, self-taught myself animation, did some core research and started looking into the film and animation industry – the rest is history.”

MPA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin introduced the event by explaining that the film and TV industry is uniquely positioned to provide opportunities for young storytellers so they can have rewarding careers and become the future creative minds of this sector. He also reminded the audience that it is critical to recognise the importance of intellectual property rights, a major priority for the Motion Picture Association, “because when we protect creators, we protect the whole industry, which allows us to continue to provide opportunities such as these for young people.”

Other panellists included:

  • Will Gardner OBE, CEO, Childnet International
  • James Filippatos, VP, Global Public Policy, The Walt Disney Company
  • Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills

Stan McCoy, president and managing director, Motion Picture Association EMEA, commented: “The Childnet film competition perfectly illustrates how keeping safe online and promoting the creative economy are complementary objectives. Behind every film there is an incredible team of hundreds of people with a passion for the industry and storytelling. These directors, set designers, carpenters, electricians, costume designers and stunt performers need an environment that promotes innovation and creativity. By accessing safe, legal content online, fans are protecting themselves and the livelihoods of the people who make their favourite blockbusters. Only then can we be certain that this remarkable industry will be able to continue for the benefit of successive generations of young people.”

Will Gardner OBE, CEO, Childnet International said: “I love watching every year the incredible films submitted by children and young people to the Childnet Film Competition. At Childnet we are inspired by watching how young people work to create films carrying messages to other young people about keeping safe online. We have also seen how the experience of this competition gives more than just prizes for the schools, but it gives the young people involved experience of film-making, (including of respecting copyright), of team-work; it gives them confidence, and for some it has unlocked a creative side and led them even to pursue courses and careers in the film industry. Sometimes it took entering the Film Competition to become aware of these opportunities. Young people need to be aware of the huge range of opportunities that lie in this sector, and at the same time, be given the encouragement and support to develop these skills.”

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