Focus: Communications - Three minutes with... Laura McVeigh, PR manager, UK Youth

What is the Film for Youth festival?

We are inviting young people to make films about what matters to them.

There are two age groups - 12 to 16 and 16 to 25 - and the films can be documentaries, comedies or animations of two to six minutes. Entries can be as individuals or in groups.

The winners will be taken on a residential training course in Belfast as part of the Urban Arts Festival and in partnership with the Waterfront Complex and Youth Action Northern Ireland. Then there will be premieres of all the winning films.

Who are you expecting to enter?

We want to make the competition as accessible as possible, so everyone who enters will get a DVD full of advice from the director Guy Ritchie about making a film.

Anyone who wants to enter but who hasn't got access to the right equipment can contact us and we will facilitate access through our network of 7,000 youth groups. We will also be hosting a series of masterclasses in April and May. The closing date for entries is 23 June.

Is this the competition's first year?

We ran a pilot in London a couple of years ago and received 60 entries, some of which were outstanding. There were two that stood out for me: one made by a group of young men from Tower Hamlets, in which they filmed themselves discussing various issues; the other by a Greenwich group that used animation in a really stylish way.

What do you hope applicants will get out of it?

We think it's important that groups that don't usually get the opportunity to have their say have a means to express themselves. This is a great chance for young people to say what they really think and to convey what's important to them. It's not just about the winners - everyone who takes part will receive an award and their films will be shown online at www.filmforyouth.org.

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