Our second See Yourself On Screen challenge (SYOS) called upon young people aged 4 to 18 from across the UK to create their own idea for a mini-TV show for the future, with winners seeing their show made with the help of a team of professionals and premiere on national television. Backed by TV personality and star judge Konnie Huq, winners will be paired with a celebrity mentor per channel who will help them bring their idea to life, before their short airs on a broadcaster later this year.
The See Yourself On Screen challenge is a pan-industry initiative, led by the BFI through its Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), which is financed by the UK government, alongside a collective of industry partners and broadcasters. Channel 5’s Milkshake!, CITV, E4, S4C, and TG4 are supporting as broadcaster partners and will each air the winning entry for their channel, while Animation UK, BAFTA Kids, Children’s Media Conference, Into Film, PACT and Northern Ireland Screen are also backing the challenge.
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Last year’s challenge saw hundreds of young people from across the UK send in their 30-second video submissions, with an esteemed panel of industry judges choosing the overall winners. The finalists duly received one-to-one virtual masterclasses from famous and influential figures from the world of TV: Konnie Huq, Jessica Hynes, Rob Delaney, Cheryl Taylor, Harry Hill, Matthew Lewis, Amelia Dimoldenberg, Robert Popper and Reggie Yates. Each mentor offered hints and tips to help guide the finalists through the scriptwriting and shooting process, before the finalists saw their show premiere on Channel 5’s Milkshake!, CITV, E4, S4C and TG4.
This year, the SYOS challenge launched on 9 June, which marked the 75th anniversary of the first regular children’s programmes airing in 1946. After the end of the Second World War and with an expanded schedule to fill, regular programming for children was launched and a live BBC Sunday afternoon programme known as Children’s Hour or For the Children – featuring the famous puppet Muffin the Mule with presenter Annette Mills – was given a regular slot. Entrants for this year’s challenge will be asked to submit an idea for a TV show set 75 years from now, in 2096.
In line with the aims of the YACF, the See Yourself on Screen challenge encourages children and young people to engage with television, offering them an opportunity to share their ideas for the future of children’s TV, work that is inspiring, informative, reflective and inclusive. A key aim of the fund is to encourage the creation of high quality, free-to-air public service television programmes which reflect the lives of children and young people in the UK.
Entrants were asked to submit an initial 30-second video, summarising their idea for a two-minute-long mini TV show set 75 years from now. Entrants were offered digital masterclasses with an experienced figure from the television industry, who will help each finalist turn their idea into reality. The resulting two-minute mini-TV show will then premiere on one of the partner broadcasters this autumn.
TV presenter Konnie Huq said: “We know that television can be a huge asset in helping children and young people explore and learn about the world around them. Not only can it be an invaluable educational asset, it can give them an outlet to express themselves in new and exciting ways, learn new things and develop their sense of citizenship. I’m so excited to be the judge in this challenge, allowing young people to express ideas, tell their stories for the future and see themselves reflected on screen is a beautiful thing.”
Jackie Edwards, Head of the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund said: “Last year’s See Yourself On Screen challenge brought a lot of joy and fun to young audiences during lockdown. We can’t wait to see what brilliant ideas emerge from entrants as they look positively to the future and the sort of television they see for themselves!”
The competition is now closed.