The first year at Burberry kicked off in grand style when Leeds Young Film hosted over a 1000 Year 7, 8 and 9 students from central Leeds based schools Co-op Academy Leeds & The Ruth Gorse Academy, at a special screening of family classic Whale Rider.

This cinematic cultural experience was held at Leeds Town Hall and used as a launch vehicle for a year long programme of creative film activities that had students acting, singing, dancing, making and crafting whilst directing their first ever short film. The film programme was a mix of 1 day and 6 day practical activities ranging from scriptwriting, storyboarding, camera, sound and lighting techniques to editing.

Students formed their own production companies and operated as a mini film-industry within their school leading to fun opportunities for students from the wider school to get involved. Whether it was budding actors from drama, a school band, or custom made costume and props students from across the school departments lent their talents to make each film production a collaborative and career focussed experience, much like the real film industry.

The theme for year one was “The place to be” which had students exploring their culture & what their home city meant to them. Through this creative exploration students featured many iconic Leeds locations including Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Library and Tetley Gallery in over 10 short films ranging from comedy, action, musicals to documentaries.

The resulting films were showcased at self-organised premiere events for family and friends held in school and also at Leeds City Museum as part of the end of year Cultural Runway.


In the second year Leeds Young Film worked with University Academy Keighley and South Craven School both of which were involved due to their proximity to the Burberry Mill and its historic connection to Keighley.

Over a 1000 Year 7, 8 and 9 students made the 20 mile journey from semi-rural Keighley to inner-city Leeds for another exciting cultural experience once again held at Leeds Town Hall.
“Journeys” was the theme of this year’s creative activities which had students exploring what journey’s they have made in their lives, be it physically or metaphorically. It was also an opportunity for students to see how this theme had been tackled artistically in popular films.

Sadly due to the global pandemic the film programme was cut short, fortunately Leeds Young Film did manage to work across the Autumn and Spring Term with Years 8 and 9. During this time they delivered their usual 1 day and 6 day film programmes with students producing 4 brilliant short films each featuring iconic Keighley film locations including Cliffe Castle, Cliffe Castle Park, Worth Valley Railway Museum and Oakworth Railway station.

In the summer term schools were sadly still closed however this didn’t deter Leeds Young Film who were inspired to create an online DIY filmmaking activity pack for the remaining Year 7 students to access and participate in whilst in lockdown.

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