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Young filmmaker competition to unearth little-known black history of Britain

A NEW filmmaking competition is urging school students from across the country to help highlight the hidden history of African and Caribbean people in Britain.

The History Matters Young Filmmaker Awards is open to all secondary pupils aged between 11 and 19-years-old.

The competition has been initiated by Professor Hakim Adi of the University of Chichester in collaboration with organisations and charities the Black Cultural Archives, Historical Association, East Sussex Record Office, Every Voice, and Into Film.

Professor Adi said: “We need to make sure that Britain's history includes and is relevant to everyone. It is not necessary to have expensive equipment or previous experience to take part in the Young Filmmaker Awards, just lots of enthusiasm, a camera, and editing software.

"A smart phone or tablet and the filmmaking apps that come with them can produce a great result – I look forward to watching the entries.”

The competition, which is open to films of a maximum of five minute in length, is to be judged by a distinguished panel including Team GB Olympic bronze medal-winning athlete Dina Asher-Smith, who is also a university history student.

Dina Asher Smith - credit Mark Robinson

Filmmakers can apply as individuals or as groups from schools, colleges, or youth clubs in one of three age categories: 11 to 13, 14 and 15, or 16 to 19-years-old.

The awards have also been supported by History Matters, a group of black historians and teachers led by Professor Adi concerned with the under-representation of history students of African and Caribbean heritage at UK schools and universities.

A website dedicated to the competition – www.chi.ac.uk/hmyfa – has been launched to inspire entrants with film tips from experts and how-to guides about storyboarding and directing.

Professor Adi added: “Perhaps, most importantly, we are looking for interesting historical content, a creative approach, and passion for the story.

"This competition is an exciting opportunity for students to contribute their own innovative views of our shared heritage.”

Professor Hakim Adi

The History Matters Young Filmmaker Awards is accepting submissions from now and finalists are to be invited to an awards ceremony in London in April next year to meet Ms Asher-Smith and the additional judges on the panel.

Winning entrants will be able to win specialist prizes while everyone who submits a video will be awarded a History Matters Young Filmmaker Awards participant certificate and have their films showcased at an official exhibition.

To find out more about the History Matters Young Filmmaker Awards visit www.chi.ac.uk/HMyfa or follow @hmyfa and #historythroughfilm across social media.

Alternatively for more on the History Matters action group, including its director Professor Hakim Adi, contact hmyfa@chi.ac.uk.