In late 2017, Film Access Scotland secured funding from Creative Scotland to deliver a film festival curated by, and for, young people in Scotland to meet, learn, collaborate and screen their work.

The Youth Film Festival was established to create a truly youth-led initiative, seeking to empower Youth Team participants to take ownership and responsibility for an annual Festival. The Youth Team was made up of around 15 young people aged 16 to 25 who, with the help of a Project Manager, co-designed and co-delivered the first Edition of the Festival in November 2018.

Film Access Scotland delivered three further Youth Film Festivals in 2019, 2020 and 2021/2022 continuing to showcase and celebrate youth-made film and the work of our members and the Film Access Sector. At the same time teams of young people were developed and supported to shape and deliver the programme and events.

To find out more and to view winning films and photo galleries, check out each Festival Edition here:

“Young people have so much to offer and seeing the level of engagement and creative thinking around tough and daunting topics such as was seen in the Films for Future weekender filled me with hope and excitement.” Rowen Henderson, filmmaker

A total of 48 young people aged 16 to 25 from across Scotland participated as members of the Youth Team over four Editions of the Festival. Some continued their involvement in later Editions, for example, assisting with submissions to the Festival or submitting films themselves! Over its four editions, the Festival showcased 16 BFI Film Academy films made through our member organisations. Many Youth Team alumni went on to study Film, TV and Media studies at universities and colleges in Scotland, with some are currently working in Film and TV and at Film Access organisations.

Alex Cormack, Louis Martin, Fiona Burton, Rowen Henderson (2020 Youth Team alumni) and Eva Magdić Govedarica are all promising filmmakers who have had their films programmed and awarded prizes in more than one Edition of the Festival.  

Did you participate in or attend any of our Youth Film Access Festival Editions?
Tell us what you’ve been up to since. Email us at: info@filmaccess.scot


Film Access Scotland thanks everyone who attended screenings and events at any of our Editions, particularly the young people who assisted in shaping the programme of the Festival, the volunteers who helped run the events and the funders and partners who supported our work over the four Editions.


The first Edition of the FANS Youth Film Festival took place over three days in Glasgow in November 2018. It offered a full and varied programme of short film screenings, feature films, practical workshops, masterclasses, presentations/panel discussions with industry professionals and networking sessions.

It also included an award ceremony to recognise and celebrate the work of young filmmakers. Around 300 people attended the Festival.


The second Edition of the FANS Youth Film Festival 2019 took place in Summerhall, Edinburgh over the weekend of 15th to 19th November.

350 Festival attendees experienced a rich programme of short film screenings, feature films, practical workshops, masterclasses, networking sessions and events specifically aimed at young people intent on exploring and developing their film-making practice or career.

The Festival programme was curated around the following strands, which were developed by the Youth Team during the 6-month youth engagement process: Animation, DIY Film Making, The Climate Crisis, Mental Health and It’s All About Access.


In 2020, like many other festivals, the third Edition of the Festival could not take place in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 programme was delivered over the last weekend in November entirely on-line. The Short Film Screening Programme showcased 44 youth- made films in 7 screening strands. 

Despite the challenging circumstances of 2020 the Youth Team found interesting and exciting ways to innovate and deliver an online experience. This included Meet Your Maker, a fortnightly live-streaming series of interviews and films featuring a youth-made short film with the film makers talking about their work. These events were delivered using Streamyard, Twitch, Zoom and Facebook.   

2020 also saw greater international collaboration: Reel Exchange, in partnership with Fresh Youth Film Festival in Ireland, allowed young Scottish film makers to work with young Irish film makers on an innovative ‘round-robin’ film making challenge.   


For the fourth Edition of the Festival in 2021/2022, Film Access Scotland developed two events: Films for Future, a weekend in November 2021 of screenings and events exploring the future of eco-filmmaking across Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow; and the Youth Film Access Festival which took place over three days at the Community Central Hall in Glasgow in April 2022.   


"The reason I love Youth Film Access Festival is because it really opens up the door for young people - it gives them the first taste of networking, speaking at a panel and most importantly showing their film in a dark room full of strangers. It always makes me really happy to see the really young ones show their work (and absolutely steal the show) and be reminded of my own first film steps. It's a wonderful, inclusive environment that gets better with each passing year." Eva Magdić Govedarica, filmmaker