Lilac background with various diverse animated characters drawn in dark purple scattered around the frame. In the centre is the Youth Film Access Festival Logo in white

Highlights from Youth Film Access Festival 2022

A huge thank you to all who attended the 4th Edition of Youth Film Access Festival at Community Central Hall in Glasgow on the 8-10th April 2022. Thanks to all the team, guests and audience members’ positive spirit and support for all involved, there was a very warm and friendly atmosphere across the three days making it a very memorable weekend. We hope all who joined us found inspiration in the events and film programmes. In this blog post, we reflect on each day of the Festival and the wonderful panels, workshops and film screenings we enjoyed together.


Soundscaping Film Panel (Credit: Lee Lewis)

Day 1 – Friday 8th April  

We kicked off the first day of Youth Film Access Festival 2022 with our Soundscaping Film panel, hosted by Chloe Charlton from the Festival’s Youth Team. Sound experts Luci Holland, Ania Przygoda and Ali Murray introduced their varied work and explained, through a range of audio-visual examples, how the many layers of sound production and design work together to carry a narrative. They also discussed the different disciplines of sound production across film, TV and video games.

Composed Rhythm and Passing Time Film Programme (Credit: Lee Lewis)

After a short break we enjoyed the first film programme of the Festival, Composed Rhythm & Passing Time. Jemima Siason from our Youth Team then invited filmmakers in attendance, Eva Magdic Govedarica (Nitro), Austen McCowan (Harmonic Spectrum), Axel Mordecai (Cinema of Distractions) and Archie Kirkwood-Law (A Futuristic Knock On The Door), to discuss their filmmaking journey, influences and future film projects in a Q&A session. It was refreshing to hear what motivates each of these young filmmakers at different ages and stages in their film careers.

Next up was Niamh McKeown’s Screenwriting Workshop: Super Short Shorts and How to Write Them. This fast-paced workshop explored story structure using a series of connected buzzwords, and participants brainstormed their very own short film plot. By the end of the workshop the creative juices were fast flowing, and everyone went home with some impressive ideas to develop. Perhaps we’ll soon see them on the big screen! 

Sustainable Storytelling Panel (Credit: Najma Abukar)

For our next panel event, wildlife documentary filmmaker Libby Penmann, along with documentary filmmaker and researcher Itandehui Jansen, addressed the proactive changes they would like to see in the Scottish screen sector in consideration of the climate emergency.

They debated the varied, often negative impacts of film production on local environments and communities as well as gave young participants in attendance recommendations on making their stories and films less impactful even on a small budget.  

Our closing event of day one was the film programme In Our Minds and Bodies. This programme took us on a journey of physical and mental self-discovery with superb films exploring identity and inner worlds. After the screening we were lucky enough to hear from four of the filmmakers in the programme, Chloe Kennedy (Robyn), Katie Cameron (Fight or Flight), Peer Thielen (An Ode To Chlomo) and Fatima Jawara (The Fox). Our moderator, Sarah O’Connor from our Youth Team, asked them to relate their proudest moments making their films, and the audience were curious about how they navigated collaborative and solo projects during the pandemic.  

In Our Minds and Bodies Film Programme (Credit: Najma Abukar)

Day 2 – Saturday 9th April 

Filmmaker Lunch (Credit: Najma Abukar)

With the sun pouring into the windows of Community Central Hall on Saturday morning, we were ready to start day two of the Festival. First up was a Filmmaking Workshop with Inma De Reyes, where through a series of group exercises and games, she challenged our participants to make a short 90-second documentary film using their mobile phones. After capturing their footage, participants explored how to make an edit using free mobile apps. Film Access Scotland’s 1.5° Film Challenge is currently open for 90-second climate film submissions. Submit your films here.

At our filmmaker lunch, we had a good chat and networked with friends, colleagues, industry representatives and more, and enjoyed a delicious lunch. As our guests nibbled and chatted away, more attendees began to arrive for our next screening event, Earthly Explorations: AHRC’s Research in Film. 

Earthly Explorations: AHRC’s Research in Film Programme (Credit: Najma Abukar)

This programme showcased a beautiful range of shortlisted films from the AHRC Research in Film Awards, which marked the creative collaboration between climate researchers and filmmakers across the UK. In a fantastic Q&A moderated by Jemima Siason, we heard Florence E. Halstead (INSECURE), Armando Bautista (Time and the Seashell) and Farhana Hoque and Ed Owles (To Be A Marma) speak about why they each chose their respective topics of climate research, how they overcame a range of challenges when filming, and what impact they hope their films will have on local communities. 

After a short break, Kyle Bruce from our Youth Team introduced us to our Scottish TV panel, featuring Siri Rødnes, Anna Dawson and Stuart McPherson. Speaking about their roles in the TV industry, the three panellists shared their perspectives on the best way to break into the industry regardless of background or level of experience. It was an inspiring and honest conversation about the demands and rewards of working on TV productions in Scotland. The discussion was so interesting that a pigeon attempted to fly through the window to listen in!  

Scottish TV Panel (Credit: Najma Abukar)

With our Saturday programme in full swing, we were ready to share the next film programme: (Un)sustainable Systems. This programme featured a range of films with a focus on successful and unsuccessful systems that govern our lives. We were glad to welcome six of the emerging filmmakers to discuss their work: Zoë Swann (Dreams for the Future), Erin Gilbertson (A Greener Way To Die), Rowen Henderson (Assisted Growing), Cal White (Subject 36), Kristian Dimitrov and Mathieu Monclar (A Bit Picky). Youth Team member Sarah O’Connor was back to ask her questions, and the filmmakers gave us behind the scenes insight into their filmmaking journeys. 

To wrap up day two, we ended with another film screening, Home is Not a Place. Filmmakers Theo Panagopoulos (My Own Personal Lebanon) and Eva Magdic Govedarica (Let The Sunshine In) took part in an engaging Q&A discussion moderated by our Festival and Marketing Assistant, Jen. They responded to some thoughtful audience questions about making a personal film about heritage and what the film, or more specifically, the process of making the film, meant to them. 

(Un)Sustainable Systems Film Programme (Credit: Lee Lewis)

Day 3 – Sunday 10th April 

Sustainable Stop-Frame Animation Workshop with Ana Songel (Credit: Lee Lewis)

On Sunday morning we invited some little ones through our doors to take part in a Sustainable Stop-Frame Animation Workshop with Ana Songel. In this creative and fun session, aimed at under 12-year-olds, Ana showed the young participants how to make a short animation, creating their own characters out of sustainable materials.

In the early afternoon, Youth Team member, Christine Mclaughin, and our very own Amaya moderated the panel discussion: Addressing Inequality in Film Exhibition: Talent Development Schemes in Scotland. Here we learnt about schemes such as the ICO’s FEDS training scheme and Film Hub Scotland’s New Promoters Scheme, supporting those from under-represented backgrounds wanting to get into the film exhibition industry. Our speakers, Theo Panagopolous, Xuanlin Tham and Chris Kumar, engaged in an open discussion about making the sector more accessible to all with a committed passion and drive. Together they related their individual experiences applying to and taking part in these talent schemes, and what advice they would give to others who would like to sign up. The New Promoters Scheme is currently open for applications. 

Addressing Inequality: Talent Development Schemes in Scotland Panel (Credit: Lee Lewis)

Next, Dan Castro hosted his ‘Shapes of You’ Character Design Workshop, where he introduced his animation projects at Castro & Friends and showed the group how to find life and personality in all shapes. In a series of tasks, the group had to develop a character (which could be based on themselves), using simple shapes and features. Everyone went home with illustrated characters with a whole lot of personality.

In the evening, we closed the Festival with a final film programme, Waves of Kinship. After a fantastic selection of films were screened, Jemima Siason stepped in once again to host a Q&A session. We were joined by Gracie Beswick (Wild Swimming), Dominic Williams (Lasagne), Gary Beatson (Red Cape) and Lewis Saunders (My Dad’s Video Diary), who answered questions about film equipment, music, acting, and finding the motivation to finish a film project when faced with a range of challenges. 

The Shapes of You Workshop with Dan Castro (Credit: Lee Lewis)

With that, our Festival was concluded, and our team enjoyed a few party tunes before winding up. We have so many great memories from this year’s Festival, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year!

If you attended any part of the Festival, we would greatly appreciate it if you could complete our short survey! We are always keen to improve the festival experience and to learn more about who attended. 


Waves of Kinship Film Programme (Credit: Lee Lewis)


We’d like to thank all who made the 4th Edition of Youth Film Access Festival possible, in particular our supporters: 
  • Screen Scotland 
  • UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council and 
  • Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI. 


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