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Sheffield Doc/Fest initiative for younger filmmakers on 4Talent website

Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Sheffield Doc/Fest) and 4Talent are once again giving young people the opportunity to gain a fantastic insight into the documentary industry.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Youth Jury 2009 is open to entries from young people age 16-21 via the 4Talent website.

Heather Croall, Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest, said: “We are looking for people with the confidence to stand up and make themselves heard, and who aren’t afraid to shout about what they think. And we want those people to make up the five-strong Sheffield Doc/Fest Youth Jury 2009. You don’t need experience, you don’t need a media background but you do need to be keen to find out more about how documentaries go from idea to screen.”

The winners will be part of the judging panel that award one documentary the Youth Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest in November 2009.

The final five will also spend a week at Channel 4 finding out about marketing documentaries, interviewing filmmakers and watching the shortlisted films.

Up to 150 successful candidates will be invited to attend one of three road shows to learn about the Youth Jury, ask advice from media experts and learn more about the realities of the documentary world.

The top 50 young people will then be invited to interviews in either Glasgow, Sheffield or London 6-17 July 2009.

Heather Croall says: “Young people are already at the forefront of factual filming, for example using camera phones to capture stories and posting the footage on YouTube. It’s just that they often don’t call it documentary. This is about harnessing that enthusiasm and potential, and giving these young people rare access to industry professionals and training. Sheffield Doc/Fest is intent upon supporting the industry and filmmakers, whatever their stage of development.”

Jo Taylor, Head of Learning & 4Talent at Channel 4, said: “I am delighted that we are partnering with Sheffield Doc/Fest once again to launch the search for the Youth Jury 2009. 4Talent’s aim is always to open up opportunities to new creative talent and give them real life opportunities to experience the skills and attitudes they need to work in the media. Over the next 6 months we will be searching across the UK for creative young people with a passion for documentary and who could potentially be the next generation of documentary stars.”

Anyone wishing to take part can apply via the 4Talent website – www.channel4.com/4talent - answering questions on what they think makes a great documentary and why.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 8 May 2009.

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