Thursday, 19 April 2012

Leeds Young People’s Film Festival proves record box office smash

Caption: The new Golden Owls Awards were a highlight of this year's festival

This year’s Leeds Young People’s Film Festival proved a huge success with a record attendance of over 5,000 people of all ages flocking to the silver screen.

The annual event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish turned 13 in style earlier this month with sell-out screenings as well as workshops, masterclasses and two fantastic new awards ceremonies promoting talented young filmmakers in Leeds and the UK.

The Hyde Park Picture House was packed out for two screenings of Joss Whedon’s new film The Cabin in the Woods, while the opening gala film Moomins and the Comet Chase proved such a hit that it was screened twice and promoted an online craze which saw fans from as far away as Australia posting pictures of their own Moomins toys.

The screening of We Are Poets at Leeds Town Hall was exceptionally well received by the audience, with renowed poet Benjamin Zephaniah making a special appearance to introduce the documentary about a group of Leeds teens on a trip to represent the UK in America’s largest poetry slam competition.

A treasure hunt and colouring-in session with the Octonauts special got the Great Big Family Film Day off to a fun start, while the singalong version of The Lion King proved as much of a crowd-pleaser as expected.

This was followed by Super Sci-Fi Sunday which featured screenings of Wall-E and Ghostbusters as well as special effects masterclasses and a question-and-answer session with director Gareth Edwards.

Major new elements of the festival were the two awards ceremonies, with Alfie Barker becoming the first-ever overall winner of the Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owls Awards at an Oscars-style event held at Leeds Town Hall.

The 15-year-old impressed the judges with his film entitled Imagine, inspired by the real-life experience of Shander Herian who lost his sight during his childhood.

The second ceremony was the INDIs (Independent Directions Award) held at Hyde Park Picture House which showcased work by talented young people from across the UK four age categories.

The overall winner was Don’t Turn Your Back, an experimental short film which explores the transience of wildlife and our role in its survival or destruction, directed by William Fuller from Hampshire.

Director of Leeds Young People’s Film Festival Debbie Maturi said:

“We’ve truly been able to showcase local and international talent at this year’s film festival and the increase in audiences has reaffirmed our belief that there’s a great desire out there for us to support film in the city.

“We hope to see our budding filmmakers migrate to our partner festival, Leeds International Film Festival as they get older and we will continue to support film education for young people throughout the year with our MediaFish and Screen Adventures programmes.”

For more information about this year’s Leeds Young People’s Film Festival visit

Notes to editors:

Winners of the Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owls Awards were as follows:

Aged 3-7 category: Shire Oak Primary School for The Monkey Who Wanted to Fly
Aged 8-11: Calverley Parkside School for The Hat
Aged 12-15: The Zone Youth Centre for Where Did All the Bagels Go ?
Aged 16-19: Leeds City College for Devil Take the Hindmost
Mixed Age category: East Leeds FM for The Story Seller
Individual Filmmakers category: Alfie Barker for Imagine

Winners of the INDIs (Independent Directions Awards) were as follows

Winner: The Flight Journey, director. Keiren Chung
Runner-up The Lost Crystal of Ambalam, DIrs. Joe & Thomas Makarov
Runner-up Fetch!, Dir. Rhiannon Kramers

Winner :The App Team, dir. Alex Howat & Jack Critcher
Runner-up: Dog, dir. Oscar Simmons

Winner: Don't Turn Your Back, dir. William Fuller
Runner-up: Sandwich, dir. Callum Hale-Thompson
Runner-up: Where Am I?, dir. Georgia Ball, Melissa Blake, Annabel Dyer, Kate Nicholson

Winner: Niagara, dir. Léopold Dewolf
Runner-up: Ever Heard A Postman Whistle ?, dir. Bexie Bush

Overall Winner (Institute of Amateur Cinematographers’ Prize)
Don't Turn Your Back, dir. William Fuller

Leeds Young People's Film Festival is presented by MediaFish and Leeds City Council. MediaFish is a cooperative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that is facilitated by Leeds Young Film. MediaFish are involved in the organisation, programme and marketing of the Leeds Young People's Film Festival and provide a variety of film screenings, workshops and masterclasses for all ages year round.

Leeds Young People’s Film Festival and its events are supported by Creative England, BFI, IAC, Trinity Leeds and Logistik.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472

A right royal time to celebrate

The programme of celebration events taking place in Leeds to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year is taking shape.

Events are being planned across the whole city to mark what, for the majority of people, will be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion; there has only ever been one Diamond Jubilee before back in 1897 when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Celebrations will focus mainly around the extended bank holiday weekend at the beginning of June, which offers a wonderful opportunity for families, friends, neighbours and communities to get together to commemorate Her Majesty's reign with street parties, festivals, picnics and other events.

For many people, the celebrations will centre in and around their local communities. However, people are also being welcomed into the city centre where some great events will take place on Briggate and Millennium Square. Picnic tables and benches will be set up on the square on Sunday 3 June to enable people to bring their own picnics along and become part of the nationwide Big Lunch event between 12 noon and 2pm. They will then be able to stay on the square and watch the national celebrations taking place on the big screen.

Also on Sunday, from 10am to 4pm on Briggate there will be a Jubilee Jazz Jamboree where people can enjoy big bands performing on stage throughout the day. For more information about these events and others visit the council’s website and go to the Leisure and culture page, then click on Arts and entertainment.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“This year’s Diamond Jubilee will be a celebration across the whole country, and we are keen that the event is marked in Leeds.

“I know that lots of our residents will want to celebrate with friends, family, neighbours and the wider communities that they live in, and take advantage of having an extra bank holiday. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to have Diamond Jubilee themed street parties, and to support them in doing this we are waiving road closure charges for residential streets.

“A programme of events is being arranged in and around the city over the weekend and beyond, which will provide a fitting celebration of Her Majesty’s reign, and a really memorable occasion for the people of Leeds.”

Road closure charges on residential streets will be waived for residents wanting to arrange Diamond Jubilee street parties this year.

To request a residential street party road closure application form contact: Traffic Engineering, Highway Services, Selectapost 6, Ring Road, Middleton, Leeds LS10 4AX; telephone Leeds 222 4444 or email . Or for an informal discussion call Howard Claxton, on Leeds 395 0851. Completed application forms must be returned at least 21 days before the event is due to take place.

For information on licensing for alcohol or regulated entertainment contact Leeds City Council’s licensing section on Leeds 247 4095 or email

More local events can also be found on the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire’s website


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Seacroft children’s centre is doubly outstanding

Picture caption: "Children and staff from Seacroft children's centre, celebrate their double 'outstanding' result."

Every aspect of the childcare provision at Seacroft children’s centre has been declared ‘outstanding’ by Government inspectors this week.

This now means that the children’s centre, which looks after 88 children from the Seacroft area, has received the top rating from Ofsted for both its childcare as well as its overall provision.

The centre which provides childcare for children from birth to five years, and additional support, groups and activities to families in the local area, is described as ‘safe, caring, vibrant and inclusive’ in the latest report published by Ofsted.

The inspectors commented that; “Children are happy, confident and flourish because the highly-skilled and motivated staff take great care to ensure children’s needs are met”.

The report highlighted the centre’s great relationship with parents, stating: “Extremely effective partnerships are in place between the Children’s Centre, parents and others involved in the children’s care. The setting takes every opportunity to involve parent and keep them well informed….”

The centre received the highest score of ‘outstanding’ in every category in the Ofsted report, and is credited with creating a "vibrant, exciting, challenging environment where children feel cherished, enjoy innovative opportunities and learn through their play and experiences”.

Seacroft Children’s Centre manager, Isabel Jones, said:
“We are thrilled that the team’s hard work, passion and commitment has, yet again, been recognised by Ofsted.

“We want to provide the best service we can for the children and families of Seacroft, so to be rated as outstanding for all our services is fantastic.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“I am delighted that the centre and staff have received the recognition they so clearly deserve.

“The management and staff have continued to show that with their dedication, commitment and enthusiasm they are making a fantastic difference to the lives of the children and families of Seacroft.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Rugby League World Cup 2013 empowers fans with unique forum

Rugby League World Cup 2013 host city Leeds is searching for a local, vocal fan to be part of a new initiative for the tournament.

The Fans Local Advisory Group (FLAG) has been created to give fans a voice in the planning for Rugby League World Cup 2013, and will include representatives from all the communities hosting games.

FLAG will meet regularly with tournament organisers to share and discuss their views and will be encouraged to maintain a regular dialogue through social media.

Representatives will be rewarded with a pair of VIP seats for the final of Rugby League World Cup 2013 and tickets to all the games played at their home ground. In Leeds this will be a group match between the city’s adopted nation and reigning world champions New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and a quarter final match.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie executive board member for leisure and chair of the Leeds World Cup Consortium said:
“Leeds has some of the most passionate, dedicated and loyal rugby league fans in the world, and we want to harness some of that enthusiasm by having a representative from the city on the Fans Local Advisory Group.

“It's a unique opportunity for a fan to help create the best Rugby League World Cup ever.

“Leeds is already an integral part of RLWC2013, and having one of our fans engaged and having their say in the running of the tournament will be another real boost to our plans.”

It’s really easy for interested parties to apply for this role. Simply tell us in no more than 250 words what Rugby League World Cup 2013 means to you and why you would like to be involved in the planning of the tournament. People can apply for themselves or nominate someone they know who has a strong interest in rugby league in Leeds.

Applications must reach us no later than 5pm on Tuesday, 8 May and can be submitted in a number of ways. You can write, email or apply via Facebook as follows:

Leeds Rugby League World Cup
FLAG competition
5th Floor Thoresby House,
Leonardo Building,
2 Rossington Street, LS2 8HD


Rugby League World Cup 2013 general manager, Sally Bolton, said:
“This tournament is about putting the fans first and we feel that FLAG will provide a genuine platform to influence the creation of the best Rugby League World Cup in history.”

Leeds was confirmed in November 2011 as a host town/city for Rugby League World Cup 2013. The 14-team tournament will be hosted by England and Wales with games also in France and Ireland.

More than 500,000 spectators are expected to attend the 28 matches with a further 20 million people watching on TV around the world.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Additional info
For further information on RLWC 2013 please contact:
Martin Johnston, Communications Manager, Rugby League World Cup 2013
077489 46966 or

East North East Homes Leeds wins second gold for equality

East North East Homes is celebrating winning a prestigious ‘Gold’ rating for its commitment to equality for the second year in a row.

The Committed 2 Equality (C2E) accreditation is a National Equality Standard and the organisation scored 95% in the audit, an improvement of 3% from last year.

Working with Equality Accreditation Services, ENEHL have undergone a robust audit and assessment which demonstrates and certifies their equality compliance with the Equality Act and related Public Sector Equality Duties.

ENEHL, working with Equality Accreditation Services, have led the way in delivering a framework for accrediting and auditing supply chain partners in terms of their equality practices. The pioneering Supplier Accreditation Programme has enabled ENEHL to meet its legal duties and has supported objectives concentrating on positive equality outcomes for customers. Furthermore, the programme has supported ENEHL suppliers to achieve the nationally recognised accreditation and develop robust equality programmes leading to improved service provision and competitive advantage in tendering processes.

Angelena Fixter, Chair of the ENEHL Board said:
This is an outstanding achievement. ENEHL employees are extremely positive in terms of how valued they feel as an employee and their enthusiasm and understanding of the business case for equality and diversity both internally and externally.’

Vivienne Duke, Chief Executive, Equality Accreditation Services said:
ENEHL have again delivered an outstanding performance. They have proved themselves to be ‘thought leaders’ in the social housing sector in terms of, not only their own equality practices, but in also extending this out across the whole of their public service provision supply chain.

Equality Accreditation Services – C2E Assessor, Jim Russell said:
‘This is one of the best companies I have encountered. Equality and Diversity is seen as a standing agenda item and is producing a better service for the company and its customers.’

Keys areas in which ENEHL passed with flying colours were in communication and awareness raising, in particular the successful ENEHL Diversity Week activities held each year and the involvement of the whole Company and service users in the development of the Equality Action Plan.

This accreditation demonstrates ENEHL’s commitment to Equality and that ENEHL is an employer and service provider of choice.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450