We are incredibly proud of what the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund has achieved in three years. It has given young people all over the UK the opportunity to watch and engage with original UK programming on free-to-access, regulated platforms, reflecting their lives, hopes and fears, and educating, entertaining and inspiring them.
The Fund has supported the UK’s production community, enabling greater opportunity and creativity with 144 development projects, many of which have converted to broadcast commissions already, and 55 productions ranging from Teen First Dates (E4) to sustainable craft show Makeaway Takeaway (CITV) and The World According The Grandpa (Milkshake!), as well as new projects in indigenous languages such as Sol — a film on grief created for the Celtic languages Irish (TG4), Scottish Gaelic (BBC ALBA) and Welsh (S4C), with more awards still to be made in the closing weeks of the Fund. YACF backed projects have already drawn critical acclaim, won a string of awards and secured sales to countries around the word, and there are 24 projects in production still to air over the next two years.
Research and re-commissions demonstrate that these programmes have a high level of appreciation from young audiences and we hope the Fund’s legacy will be to encourage UK broadcasters to continue to focus on programmes that nurture and nourish and reflect the lives of young people in the UK.
Other highlights from the Fund include supporting young people during Lockdown, with the hugely successful See Yourself on Screen Challenge, taken up by young people around the country, from all backgrounds and of all ages. The challenge gave them a national platform to submit stories that expressed their own voices, interests and experiences, in line with the Fund’s objectives to increase representation across children’s content.