What is Volunteer Films doing?
We are offering 25 charities with an annual turnover of less than £2m the opportunity to make a short film to raise their profile and recruit volunteers. They could focus on a disability, ethnic minorities or underprivileged kids, but they must be youth-based.
Is it completely free for the charities?
The independent production companies and all the professionals involved give their time, talent and enthusiasm for free, which enables us to make a three-minute film at a fraction of the normal cost. We ask the charities for £1,000 each to cover expenses, but if you compare that with the £5,000-£20,000 that it usually costs to make a film, it's nothing.
Is this the first time you have done this?
No. Last year we made films for 20 charities involved in volunteering. We got about 100 applicants in total.
What kind of things are you looking for this year?
Charities need to be able to convince us that they will really benefit from having a film made and that it will help them raise their profile or recruit volunteers. We will be trying to ensure the production team comes from the same area as the charity for each film, so that they are in touch with the needs of the community.
One of the films that stood out for me last year was one in which a British girl went to Africa to discover her cultural roots. It was very moving. This year, we hope to make more films that have an impact on viewers.
Where will the films be shown?
They will be shown on the Community Channel. Viewers will be able to volunteer by pressing the red buttons on their remote controls.
We are also in talks with Channel 4 and regional television. The film will be the property of the charity, so it will be free to do what it wants with it.
For an application form, email firstname.lastname@example.org.