UK charity to help filmmakers

Indepedent Film Trust

LONDON Newly formed, the Independent Film Trust is a charity that supports the British Independent Film Awards and the Raindance Film Festival in their work fostering, promoting and celebrating independent filmmaking.

Created by Raindance Founder Elliot Grove, support has steadily grown for this important initiative with endorsements from British film icons such as Mike Leigh, Tim Roth, and David Suchet to name a few. The charity will fund film courses for disadvantaged young people with the aim of developing self-confidence, creativity, communication and digital media skills and encouraging participation in further or higher education.

Film Industry Network interviewed commercial director Marcia Degia to find out more about the initiatives of the charity.

In conversation with Marcia Degia

How did this charity come about?

We recognised that young people in our target group often lack self-confidence and have little interest in continuing their education after they have completed the statutory number of years. According to the government agency Aimhigher, roughly 5-10% of each year group in schools and colleges have the ability to progress to higher education, but are unlikely to do so because they are from disadvantaged backgrounds without any family history of participation in higher education.

The IFT ran a pilot for Film School In A Box (FSIB) in December 2008 in partnership with Raindance and Royal Holloway college in Egham. The three-day pilot, involved children, aged 14-16, drawn from the local Magna Carta School and Sandhurst School. They were introduced to screenwriting, directing and editing and then produced a short film. They also learnt about how to marketing films.

The pilot was run on the back of Raindance filmmaking events in selected London schools through its Raindance Kids initiative, in 2002. For instance, it teamed up with Lewisham Education Business Partnership to provide Forest Hill Boys School with a one-week workshop, which allowed 21 students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the filmmaking process. The students, responsible for the filming and editing, decided to highlight issues faced by refugee communities. The final films were shown at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton.

The pilot produced a very positive reaction from most of the young people involved. Of the 17 who took part, 12 said that it had significantly increased their interest in Media Arts as a subject, and one said that as a result of the experience they were for the first time seriously considering going to university.

What kind of programmes will you be providing?

We fund FSIB, run by professional film-makers from Raindance, using lightweight equipment that can be packed into a portable box and taken to schools in a designated area as and when required. This would enable the group to pass through all of the basic stages of film-making writing, producing, directing, cinematography, editing and marketing.

The partnership with Raindance not only provides a link to industry practitioners unlike other similar training initiatives. It can also provide a distribution outlet for the films that are made through, the Raindance Film Festival or specially-arranged screenings.

Any important events coming up for fund raising?

We have a number of exciting projects scheduled throughout 2010 that will be hosted by industry heavyweights.

What else does IFT offer?

We recognise that it is hard for the average independent filmmaker to get their foot on the ladder. By
joining our Independent Film Trust Facebook group, members can look forward to fantastic opportunities. Recent competitions included Win An Internship with Nick Broomfield , Two Tickets to a Film Premiere and numerous Raindance courses. You do not have to donate to join the group, just show your support of indie film!

How can people donate?

For more information, visit our website at or email Marcia Degia at [email protected]

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