As Mental Health Awareness week gets underway, MAMA Youth Project’s latest mentoring pairs completed their six-month Two-Way partnerships with over 50 percent of the 88 participants reporting that sessions had benefited their mental health. The established scheme has continued to foster a community of peer-to-peer support and positive industry led conversations. Mentees have gained a better understanding of the work culture and dynamics in production environments in addition to a more balanced level of expectation management, skills in dealing with a difficult situation at work and enhanced confidence to speak out when faced with conflict. In excess of half the beneficiaries reported personal as well as professional growth and improvements in their mental health as direct outcomes of their involvement in the scheme, for which all MYP trainees and alumni are eligible.
MYP Alumni, said “It was great to connect with someone so senior in the industry and I benefitted from feeling open and safe to talk through situations I was experiencing at the time and get guidance from someone of their calibre. I gained confidence about my worth and feel my mentor was able to learn and better understand the issues facing different roles, and how this can impact career progression.”
This month saw a further 13 Digital Media Trainees kick start their own career progression by successfully completing MAMA Youth’s 6-week intensive training programme, gaining a fast track into broadcast and digital media, thanks to funding from John Lyon’s Foundation – the charity which aims to maximise opportunities for young people by enabling them to realise their potential.
Trainee Digital Media Producer, Sbah Amelia Azam shared her thoughts on the experience, “The training was beyond anything I could ever imagine. I now have in-depth knowledge of the industry and gained a skill set as a prospective Runner. To harness your talents through work alone, is a hard, long, rocky road but I didn’t have to do that because I had the support of MAMA Youth Project, working alongside some of the most gifted, creative, and distinctive individuals I have ever met. There is no power for change greater than a community... for that, I am indebted to Bob and the faculty of MAMA Youth Project. I dared myself to be great, but they dared me to be greater.”
With guaranteed placements at industry partners such as Remarkable, Wimbledon and Shine TV, candidates from the latest Digital Media cohort are now embarking on their media careers - watch this space for these Alumni on the Fly!
Congratulations to another MYP Alumni on the Fly, Hodan Abdi, recipient of the 2022 British Animation Awards, Lamb Award. A junior production manager at Illuminated films, Hodan has also launched a podcast series with a colleague focusing on diversity and other issues affecting the animation industry.
“Compared to the other nominees, I was the only one who didn’t study animation and winning the award felt like all the hard work I put in was being acknowledged. It was heart-warming and nerve-racking walking onto the stage. I’ll hopefully continue working in the animation industry and have my eyes set on producing. Thanks to MAMA Youth Project for giving me the encouragement to continue on the path of production”, said Hodan.
This month MYP sees the start of a further 30 potential success stories as the charity welcomes the latest cohort of TV Production trainees from underrepresented and challenging backgrounds and those with limited opportunity, who will receive a life changing chance to gain instant industry access.
A unique aspect of MAMA Youth’s training model puts participants into a 'real- time' work situation during which they perform independently as well as in a tightly knit team, producing content for Licklemor Productions, the BAFTA award winning production company committed to making diverse content for diverse audiences.
During the 14-week intensive training programme, the trainees will produce a new series to air on Sky Arts. ‘The Other Art Show’ is a magazine style show comprising of four half hour episodes. Led by two anchor presenters, each episode aims to explore the British culture scene, bringing to the forefront new talent, as well as established artists. A diverse group of presenters take the pulse of the country with reports on music, comedy, art and the latest in British youth culture.
The biannual boot camp style training is followed by industry placements in addition to long term career support with success rates consistently tracking above 95% for young people in paid work a year after completing the training, and plays a role in the industry’s future which Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, Philip Edgar-Jones has previously hailed as vital, “This content is massively important to our portfolio in reaching out to those under-represented communities by making programmes that are relevant and diversifying to reflect our audience. The MAMA Youth training is brilliant and gives us a growing talent pool yearly that we can tap into as well as recommending to others.
I’ve sat in the boardroom while MYP’s enthusiastic young trainees have made their first ever pitch to a broadcaster and I’ve heard more ideas in that hour than I have from professionals who have been in the business for years”, enthused Edgar-Jones.
Back to action not a moment too soon
The Media Production and Technology Show returns on 11-12 May, at London, Olympia after a two year pandemic induced hiatus. The event resumes service with a bumper and free conference programme and larger than ever technology showcase delivering face to face insight into the key trends impacting production and post.
Opening the show is BAFTA and RTS award winning Louis Theroux, who will talk through his extensive career in documentary production. Keynotes include BAFTA winning multi-hyphenate Adam Deacon who champions urban storytelling; and a behind the scenes look at shiny floor shows The Masked Singer, The Wheel and Strictly Come Dancing from their producers.
As might be expected a lot of the discussion centres on how the industry can emerge fitter, stronger and happier from enforced isolation and jury-rigged workflows of the Covid-era. Expert panels debate remote production and mental health, NFTs, sustainable production and working in eXtended reality. There’s a special focus on Virtual Production with an LED stage for visitors to experience; an expanded Audio Theatre covers the latest trends and innovations in sound; and a new Technology Theatre is trained on 5G, AI/ML, Cloud and the Metaverse.
Perhaps the single most missed ingredient in the industry under Covid was the inability to network and enjoy serendipitous professional discovery. MPTS will set this right as Kensington becomes the hive of the UK’s massive, growing and world class creative industries.
Charlotte Wheeler, Director, Broadcast Tech & Sport Group at show organiser’s MBI says, “With the UK as a vibrant and essential hub for so many of the world’s best content creators, MPTS is perfectly positioned to bring creator excellence together. We are so excited to welcome everyone to our biggest programme yet that delivers a real hands-on experience of the latest technologies, together with world-class speakers covering all aspects of audio, content creation, pre-production, production, post and distribution.”
Still to come this May, MAMA Youth Project staff and alumni poised for panel discussion with the Northants Film and Television Expo
Whether you're an experienced film professional or just thinking about your future career, there's something for everyone at Northants Film & Television Expo.
Chat with Creative England and sign up to their free crew database.
Find out about National Film and Television School and University of Northampton courses and many more.
Live video Q&As at the campus: MAMA Youth Project, Blair Barnette vice chair elect British Film Designers Guild, the Film Festival Doctor and Disney's Liza Rhea on the No 2 to Kettering.
'Book out' an industry professional from our people library for 15 minutes to talk about their career and job.
Becky Adams, Producer, Screen Northants said, “We’re thrilled to have MAMA Youth Project joining us via video link for a live Q&A from our Northants Film & Television Expo. MAMA Youth Project has achieved some really fabulous stuff, with a very similar ethos to Screen Northants, so I’m excited to be talking to them on the day.
We hope to discuss the current skills gaps in the UK Creative Industries and hear from some of the project graduates about their journeys into Film & Television. The rest will be guided by the audience that join us on the day!”
For more information please visit:Northants Film and Television Expo - with Careers Fair Registration, Sat 21 May 2022 at 11:00 | Eventbrite