GYFF Youth Team: Join us!
My name is Cieran and I'm a member of the GYFF Youth Team who organise Glasgow Youth Film Festival each year. I've only been a member for a year but I got so much out of it that I can't wait to come back for a second time.
I first heard about the GYFF Youth Team during a screening of Paul at GYFF 2011 and after seeing the group dressed up to introduce the film and having a good time together, I wanted to be part of it as well.
I was nervous about the initial group meeting, thinking I wouldn't know enough about film and wouldn't be allowed to join! It soon became clear that that wasn't the case - you don't have to be a mega film buff or critic to be a GYFF member; there's something for everyone to get involved with. I'm glad I stuck with the group and decided to return as I know now I would have missed out on so much.
There are meetings on Mondays at GFT, (after school, of course) where we watch trailers and screeners for films. Together we decide what we'd like to include in the upcoming festival which takes place each February. That's not just it, however. We also decide on designs for the festival brochure, plan workshops and, perhaps my favourite part, make an advert for the festival which we get to produce and even appear in - if you want to, that is.
I found that it isn't just about planning the festival. Meeting other people and making friends is also a big part of it. I was worried I wouldn't make any friends but there are so many great people involved in the group. There is always a welcoming and friendly atmosphere each Monday evening.
As for GYFF itself: there isn’t an experience quite like it. My highlight of the festival was easily dressing up as Kermit the Frog, banjo in hand, to introduce the Scottish premiere of The Muppets. Presenting isn't quite my thing and it was a daunting prospect but at the same time, it was great fun and a cool experience.
There are plenty of opportunities for the team during GYFF. One of these is our panel discussions which are always very interesting. Discussions from this year included speaking to the West of Scotland Racial Equality Council, LGBT Youth Scotland and other groups addressing issues raised in the films we selected.
Another fantastic event we did involved decorating The Arches restaurant in the style of the film Belleville Rendez-vous. We applied to Young Scot's Truth About Youth fund and received money to buy props, paint the restaurant and we even got to decide which food went on the menu. There may also be the chance to meet some celebrities. I was lucky enough to meet Will Poulter (Son of Rambow, Wild Bill) and Dexter Fletcher (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and director of Wild Bill) who were both great to talk to.
I certainly feel very fortunate to have had such a great experience at GYFF 2012 and the run-up to it. If you're interested in film at all, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend joining the group. Come along - you'll have fun, make friends and at the end of the festival, I guarantee you'll feel proud of what you have achieved as a group. Organising GYFF is no small feat. Most importantly, you don't have to be a film geek to take a part!
If you'd like to join the GYFF Youth Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and tell us why you’d be a good addition to the team. Places are limited so don't delay!