Children’s Events Programmer at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
This is Lisa's second year of being a Film Competition judge, we spoke to her about her experiences of being a judge and what she looks for in a winning film.
Lisa, it’s great to have you back again. Can you tell us a bit about the job you do at BAFTA?
I work for BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) as the Children’s Events Programmer & Producer. My role is part of the Learning & New Talent team and it’s an interesting, creative and exciting job with lots of variety. The main focus of my job is managing the BAFTA Kids programme so I travel the country putting on events for schools and family festivals; produce behind the scenes content for the BAFTA Kids & Teens YouTube channel and run competitions like the annual search for a young presenter. BAFTA encourages young people to use their imaginations and helps them understand that there are many different creative roles within film, games and television. Obviously not everyone will want to work in the media industry but by running workshops with television presenters, writers, directors, animators etc we encourage creativity, storytelling, team building and other important skills like self-esteem, confidence and resilience. It’s important that we support our children’s wellbeing.
What did you enjoyed most about last year’s finalist event?
I was impressed by how much everyone enjoyed the opportunity to get together and chat with other finalists and share ideas. It was a very supportive atmosphere and it was great to see the films on the big screen.
How difficult is the judging process?
It’s tough! You obviously appreciate all the hard work by the finalists and want to ensure you give proper consideration to all aspects of the filmmaking process. We were fairly unanimous with our decisions last year but sometimes you get very differing views. That is the joy of films – they are open to individual interpretation. But that can also make judging difficult if you have your own personal favourite and you want to champion a particular film that someone may not like so much. Everyone takes their judging responsibilities very seriously though.
What are the key things you look for when deciding your winner?
Originality, creativity, authenticity. It’s very important that the voice of the young filmmakers is coming through loud and clear.
We like to think that this competition is a bit different from others. Would you agree?
There are many student filmmaking competitions across the country but the ChildNet competition is different because of its themes. It’s also very important that young people are making films for other young people to watch and relate to. We know how important our peer groups are particularly when it comes to social media.
What would be your 3 top tips for young filmmakers?
Same as last year! 1 Identify the main message and theme of your film. 2. Work together as a team and share ideas. 3. Take your time plotting out structure so the film flows and makes sense to the audience.
Favourite children’s film of all time?
I have so many favourites! I think the Paddington films are exceptionally funny and moving. The Princess Bride is brilliantly imaginative. Tangled is a film I return to all the time, not least because it has a song called “Mother Knows Best” which I jokingly sing to my daughter!