Thursday, 13 March 2014

A taste of Rio comes to the Leeds Young Film Festival

A major awards ceremony, new competitions and special screenings of some modern classics are among the highlights of the Leeds Young Film Festival which begins on 31 March.

The full Leeds Young Film Festival 2014 programme is now online at, where people can find out about all of the amazing activities taking place as part of this year's festival. Tickets will be on sale from tomorrow morning.

Leeds Young Film Festival (LYFF) features the best new cinema from around the world for children and young people, special preview screenings, animation, short films, family events, workshops, master classes and some of the country’s biggest award ceremonies for young filmmakers. There are films for all the family at venues across the city, including Hyde Park Picture House, Everyman Leeds, Leeds Town Hall and Vue in The Light.

The Opening Gala film will be a very special preview screening of Rio 2 in 3D, at Vue in The Light on Tuesday 1 April. It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in Rio 2, after they venture into the wilds of the Amazon for a family reunion. Out of his element in a land he doesn’t know, Blu must face his most fearsome adversary – his father in law - while evading Nigel’s fiendish plans for revenge. All the favourite Rio characters are back with music from Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae.

Family film events don't come much bigger or better than the weekend we’ve got lined up for you at Hyde Park Picture House. On Saturday 5 April there is an extra-special Scooby Doo event for audiences aged three and up. There will be lots of Scooby Doo related activities, together with a screening of the animated film Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase in which Scooby and the gang are trapped inside a video game and must defeat a phantom virus. A real-life Mystery Machine will be making an appearance at the event so you can have your photo taken in it with Scooby Doo himself! There will also be street food provided by Market Wraps - including a special Scooby Snack box! Sunday 6 April will be Toy Story Day, where the Hyde Park Picture House will dedicate itself to screening the entire Toy Story trilogy from 10.30 am onwards. Market Wraps will again be in attendance with a Toy Box snack pack available especially for the occasion!

More epic family fun will follow with Disney at the Everyman, where we'll be screening five Disney films at the fantastic new cinema and pizzeria in the heart of Leeds's Trinity shopping centre. There's The Jungle Book, The Rescuers, Aladdin, The Lion King, and new hit Frozen - already one of the most successful animated films of all time.

The Festival will also feature a fantastic Film Academy programme of Workshops and Masterclasses including Animate! - a great introduction to stop motion film making where you’ll get that chance to make your own animation; Make Your Own Film Festival, where young people attending LYFF get to organise a real life film festival at the Hyde Park Picture House; On the Bike Track Music Workshop, a celebration of Tour de France where you'll use bike parts to create an amazing audio track; and a return of the ever-popular Minecraft. Ben Waddington’s Invisible Cinema Tour will reveal to you a secret side to Leeds City Centre he takes you on an exploration of historic and forgotten cinema sites.

Five of the leading audience favourites from the 27th Leeds International Film Festival, including winning film The Rocket, will screen at LYFF. Best of Leeds International Film Festival will include Antboy, the delightful spoof adventure about a boy who becomes a superhero after being bitten by a very special ant; Ghost Graduation, the supernatural comedy about a group of five ghostly students who are haunting a high school; Little Fugitive, a beautifully-made American indie from 1956 that follows two young brothers who are left alone while their mother visits a relative; The Rocket, about a boy who leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home; and We Are the Best!, Lukas Moodysson’s raucous tale of three preteen outcasts who form an all-girl punk band.

Following the huge success of last year's programme of 25th Anniversary screenings at Leeds Young Film Festival, we will be screening a fantastic new selection of films celebrating their quarter-of-a-century birthday in 2014! These include The Abyss, the underwater science-fiction fantasy by Avatar Director James Cameron; Honey I Shrunk the Kids, about the adventures of a group of teens shrunk to a microscopic size by zany scientist Rick Moranis, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - an early outing for Keanu Reeves and one of the greatest slacker comedies of all time! Take the chance to enjoy a selection of 80s favourites on the big screen while you still can - next year LYFF will be celebrating 1990.

Leeds Young Film Festival Director Debbie Maturi said: “Every year Leeds Young Film Festival gets bigger and better, with an amazing range of films from all over the world – and LYFF 2014 is no exception. It’s the best place to bring the whole family this Easter with events and activities from films you know and love and some that you won’t get the chance to see anywhere else. There’s a host of workshops and masterclasses for you to get creative and learn more about cinema and with film tickets just £2.50 for under 19s, it is fantastic value too.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for leisure and skills at Leeds City Council said:“This year’s Leeds Young Film Festival once again has a brilliant line-up of films for people to enjoy. There is something for everyone and I hope we will see more people than ever come out and join in.

“As an added bonus, young people are going to get the chance to learn more about how the film industry itself works by taking part in some really interesting workshops and masterclasses.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said:
“The Leeds Young Film Festival is a fantastic example of the events in the city which are moving us closer to achieving our child-friendly ambitions. It’s great to see that many of the city’s cinemas are part of the festival which will offer a huge choice and some top names aimed specifically at young people.”

Leeds Young Film Festival boasts some of the biggest Award ceremonies for young people in the UK, including Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owls Awards, an Oscars-style ceremony for young filmmakers aged between 3 and 19, at Leeds Town Hall on Wednesday 2 April. Hyde Park Picture House will host The INDIs (Independent Directions) Awards on Monday 7 April, the UK's only film competition which solely champions and celebrates the talent of the UK’s independent filmmakers under 25.

The LYFF VIP Screening Pass is now on sale and is incredible value for money at just £10.00 per person, including both adults and young people. The pass is valid from 3 April – 11 April and gives access to all screenings at the festival (excluding the Opening Gala and special events). Tickets for individual screenings and special events are amazing value at just £2.50 for Under 19s and £5.00 for adults.

For more information or to download the festival brochure, please visit

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


For enquiries please contact:
Nick Jones, Communications Manager
Leeds Young Film Festival 2014 /, 31st March – 11th April 2014 / 0113 247 8398 /

Core cities join forces with London to put pressure on the Chancellor to devolve property taxes

Issued on behalf of The Core Cities Group

Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne received a letter from the Core Cities Cabinet calling for the devolution of property taxes to the UK’s big cities. Although this will more than double the taxes cities retain locally, it is only a rise from 5% to 12% and still leaves the UK trailing behind the international competition.

The Core Cities Cabinet which represents the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, has added its voice to that of Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Chair of London Councils’, Mayor Jules Pipe in calling for greater financial freedoms, starting with property taxes.

Core Cities’ urban areas already deliver 27% of the English economy, more than London and are home to 16 million, yet they underperform by international standards. This is because, currently, cities only retain about 5% of the total tax base raised in them which is damaging their economic potential.

According to the OECD, the level of taxes managed at the local or regional level is about 10 times greater in Canada, 7.5 in the US, 7 in Sweden, almost 6 in Germany, and over 5 times greater across the OECD on average. The devolution of property taxes would go some way to rectifying this issue in the UK by increasing the amount of tax retained in our cities to 12%, including council tax, and giving them the freedom to grow and compete globally.

The extra money generated from handing the cities greater freedom to retain property taxes would help the Core Cities meet their target of outperforming the national economy, and becoming financially self-sustaining. Independent forecasts demonstrate this could mean an additional £222 billion and 1.3 million jobs for the country by 2030. That is like adding the entire economy of Denmark to the UK.
Specifically, the money generated from the devolution of property taxes would be used on projects that benefit cities such as improved transport networks and upgrading business infrastructure.

In September 2013, London and the Core Cities officially launched the ‘City Centred’ campaign which calls for the devolution of financial powers to our cities, with property taxes being the primary focus.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council and Chair, Core Cities Cabinet said:

"Our great cities once led the world in both economic and social transformation, through the industrial revolution and urban reformers like Joseph Chamberlain and Robert Peel. We have the opportunity to emerge from recession with the world once again looking to the leadership of our cities, generating the next set of ideas and industries that will change the globe.

“To realise that ambition, cities must be empowered with the necessary freedoms to deliver. That is why we have joined our voices to those of London in calling for the rapid devolution of property taxes to our major cities.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“If we are to secure sustainable long-term growth as a nation, we must rebalance our economy. To do that, cities like ours need the power, freedom and resources to deliver on key regional priorities. Retaining a greater proportion of locally generated revenue could enable us to invest in the infrastructure projects we know will make the biggest difference to people living in our area – improving links to employment opportunities and opening up new markets for businesses.

“The evidence already proves that where we are given the powers and resources to act locally, we have the potential to deliver vastly improved outcomes. Most recently, local projects to tackle youth employment through the Devolved Youth Contract have consistently outperformed national schemes such as the Government’s Work Programme. We need the Government to now come good on its promises of greater devolution. This letter to the Chancellor sets out one of a number of ways we can continue that process.”


Notes to editors
The 5% of the total tax base currently retained by the cities is made up almost entirely of council tax.
Property taxes consist of: council tax, business rates, stamp duty land tax, annual tax on enveloped dwellings and capital gains property disposal tax.
The Core Cities recently released a Growth Prospectus which can be read online here.

The Core Cities are a unique and united local authority voice to promote the role of their cities in driving economic growth. They represent the councils of England’s eight largest city economies outside London. The Core Cities Group has a track record of 15 years as a cross party group, led by the City Leaders. It is a self-selected and self-funded group. For more information please visit

Statement following the release of the NHS England Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Services Review

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, and Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board for Leeds said:

I welcome NHS England’s declaration today that “services at Leeds are safe and are running well”. The Leeds unit has been subject to greater scrutiny than any other. There have been many statements about the quality of service provided at the unit in the past, but NHS England’s statement today and the report into mortality figures reaffirms that the people of Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire and the Humber were right and are right to stand up and campaign to keep the unit open.

At the same time, the 16 families who provided their accounts for Professor Cantrill’s report had heartfelt concerns about their experience. We want the best care for all children who need it and the best support for their families. In that light we welcome the unequivocal commitment from the hospital’s Chief Executive to address the concerns raised in the report, and build on the work already done to address the recommendations made in the ‘Rapid Review’ in April 2013 and the Mortality Case Review.

Looking to the future, we firmly believe the Children’s Heart Unit in Leeds should continue to offer the valued contribution it makes to the region’s health care. We know the Leeds unit delivers vital and valued services to thousands of families every year, and we hope that the hospital can now concentrate on making those services the best they can be.

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

Mobile: 0772 227 5370
Tel: 0113 395 0393
Fax: 0113 247 4736

Grimethorpe Colliery Band set to perform in Morley

The world renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Band is all set to serve up a night to remember at Morley Town Hall this weekend.

Led by celebrated conductor Dr Robert Childs, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band will delight the audience on Saturday March 15 with a varied programme including their signature piece Brassed Off Medley (arr Price), which is taken from the 1995 hit film Brassed Off. Also set to be performed will be Williams’ famous Indiana Jones (arr Farr), Price’s stunning Sunrise Over Blue Ridge and Bellstedt’s Napoli (arr Owenson) featuring a euphonium solo by Michael Dodds.

The programme also includes Rossini’s popular Barber of Seville Overture (arr Hawkins), Cook’s lively Bolivar (arr Ashmore) Lovatt-Cooper’s fast paced Where Eagles Sing and Nash’s beautiful Demelza featuring a soprano cornet solo by Kevin Crockford.

This concert at Morley Town Hall will be followed later in the month by a performance from the Leyland Band on Saturday 29 March. Now an independent group featuring thirty musicians, the band, who were crowned the West Area Champions in 2013, has earned a reputation as a much loved concert entertainer both at home and abroad.

Tickets for the Grimethorpe Colliery Band are priced at £13.50 (£11.50 concessions), while tickets to see the Leyland Band are priced at £11.50 (£9.50 concessions). To book call the Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or book online at

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"It is really fantastic to be able to welcome both the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Leyland Band to Morley Town Hall later this month.

"Both concerts promise to be a superb night of entertainment, and as usual we would ask people to book their tickets as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment."

Notes to editors:

Grimethorpe Colliery Band was formed in 1917 as a leisure activity for the workmen at the colliery. International fame came to the band with the making of the 1995 film Brassed Off. The band recently became the first ever brass band to be an ensemble-in-residence at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2010 Grimethorpe enforced its reputation as the UK’s leader in brass band entertainment by winning Brass in Concert title for a record fifteenth time.

Dr Robert Childs, is a leading figure in the world of brass music and is the Principal Conductor and Director of Music at Grimethorpe Colliery Band. In 2000 Robert become the Musical Director and Conductor of Cory Band and during his tenure the band won many championships including the World Brass Band, National Brass Band of Great Britain, British Open and led the band to the No 1 position in the official World Rankings. Robert is currently Director of Brass Band Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music, Chairman of the NYBBGB and Managing Director of Performing Arts Education.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578