In Hollywood, they say never work with children or animals, but what if you put the children in charge?

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Fledgling film makers from across Norfolk have been getting behind the camera for the BBC Norfolk Children and Young People’s Film Festival, and came together for a special event at the Fusion Cinema in The Forum this week to watch each other’s films and collect certificates.

Now in its third year, the festival showcases young talent and provides a platform for children from all walks of life to show an interest in the media, gain experience and have their work screened for a week in The Forum.

The man behind the festival, Gary Standley of BBC Voices – a youth media training centre based at The Forum – said: “We think it is really important that young people who love film making have a chance to have them shown. They may go on Youtube or their school website, but no one else gets to see them. Showing them at The Fusion means they are being seen by the public like any other film.

“We know there are a lot of people who make films and do not get the chance to showcase them, but we have the facilities to encourage kids who want a career in media.

“It is just a brilliant way for them to express themselves, it is good for creativity and teamwork and gives them a lot of pride and self confidence.

“The showcase has grown, we have 58 films this year and our work with schools has gone up accordingly.”

About 17 Norfolk Schools and education resources entered films into the festival, along with youth clubs and independent film makers.

For example, year one pupils from Larkman Primary School worked with local freelance film-maker Matthew Harrison to create a Russian folk tale-style stop-motion animation, called The Little Round Bun, as part of their classroom project about Russia.

Sprowston High School pupil Ryan Fuller, 15, from Blackwell Avenue, Sprowston, entered a comedy sketch. His Perfume Sketch – a parody of a perfume advert – was made with help from school friend Joe Keeley one Saturday morning.

Mr Fuller said: “I enjoyed making it because I enjoy the technical part of it, the editing. It is good to gain experience in film making, I am happy with the outcome and now I can add it to my CV.”

Young people of all ages made films of all types, animations, dramas, documentaries and even music videos.

Lodge Lane Infant School made a film inspired by the book Iron Man by Ted Hughes, called What’s to be Done With the Iron Man? Year two children from the school on Lodge Lane, Old Catton, researched, filmed, acted, edited and composed music for their four-minute film.

Head teacher of the school Andy Tovell said: “This is the second year we have been in the festival. One of the things that is key for us is developing children’s confidence. Putting themselves in front of the camera, that is a real strength that we like to see.

“But it also gives them the chance to make real decisions, helping them become more independent with their learning.”

Have you been involved in a project that benefited you? Call the Norwich Evening News on 07501 481521 or email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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