Applications for Sheffield Doc/Fest’s 10th Youth Jury Now Open
The Sheffield Doc/Fest Youth Jury, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2016, is now open to anyone aged 18-22 living in the UK who is passionate about documentary film and wants to be part of next year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, which takes place from 10-15 June. Applications are open until Friday 15 January 2016.
Since its introduction in 2006 this free, nurturing and enabling scheme has every year given five documentary enthusiasts aged between 18-22 unprecedented access to industry professionals at a ‘hothouse’ event in London, as well as the opportunity to view eight festival docs and shortlist five for the Youth Jury prize, announcing the winner at the Awards Ceremony. The initiative is free of charge for participants. Last year 3 ½ minutes, Ten Bullets was awarded the Youth Jury prize. Past winners include The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014), God Loves Uganda (2013), Photographic Memory (2012) and We are Poets (2011).
At last year’s ‘hothouse’ the jurors spent time with filmmaker and critic, Charlie Lyne, Executive Producer of BBC TV Storyville, Kate Townsend, and filmmaker and interactive media artist for The Guardian, Laurence Topham.
The Youth Jurors also receive a complimentary full festival pass giving them access to the whole programme, including the Film, Industry Sessions and Alternate Realities, as well as networking and social events.
2015 Youth Juror Nyasha Duri (aged 18) describes the experience as “life-defining… I can’t recommend it enough; I took away fond memories of the time spent with my fellow jurors, the lovely Doc/Fest staff, plus an impetus to find more stories that need to be told”, while Tom Draper (aged 22) says, “Throughout my six days in Sheffield, I was opened up to the world of documentary, an industry I now would like to pursue a career in. Sheffield Doc/Fest is a fantastic festival and has given me not only treasured experiences but the confidence to talk to filmmakers and industry professionals and representatives”.
Throughout the process the jurors are closely mentored by senior Doc/Fest staff, this year led by the Director of Programming & Industry Engagement Claire Aguilar: “It’s inspiring and humbling to work with such a diverse group of talented young people – they bring great energy and enthusiasm to Doc/Fest, and it’s always exciting to see them so inspired by the experience that they carry on to pursue careers in the film and broadcast world”.
Over the years many Youth Jury alumni have achieved careers in the documentary world, including working for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN; writing for national and international film publications such as Sight & Sound and Little White Lies, making shorts and feature length documentaries for commissioners including BBC3; working with music labels and creating music videos; and programming films and panels for other festivals.
Applicants do not need experience in the media, but do need a passion for documentary. Applications are open from midday on Friday 13 November until Friday 15 January, and it is free to apply. Application forms can be downloaded from the Sheffield Doc/Fest website: sheffdocfest.com/view/youthjury
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 will take place from 10-15 June.