Tyneside Cinema’s award-winning documentary filmmaking academy begins a new search for the next generation of documentary makers.

YOUNG people in the North East get the chance to take part once again in an award-winning filmmaking programme this summer as Tyneside Cinema opens applications for its fifth annual Northern Stars Documentary Academy.

The Cinema is looking for enthusiastic young people aged 15-18 from across the North East to take part. The programme is completely free of charge and no previous filmmaking experience is required – just a passion for cinema or film and the desire to say something about the world you live in.

Applications for Northern Stars Documentary Academy are now open at http://www.northernstarsdocacademy.co.uk. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 31, and the Academy itself will run on Saturdays from late August to early December.

The programme offers participants the chance to work with leading industry professionals to make their own short documentary films about the world around them, gain practical hands-on experience of all aspects of film production and develop key employability skills.

Previous participants have used their experience from the programme to gain a place at university or as part of a portfolio to get work in the film industry.

Applications are sought as two films made in last year’s Documentary Academy enjoy awards success at the Royal Television Society - North East and The Border Young People’s Media Festival.

The short film ‘ASHLEIGH’, a portrait of one woman’s struggle to pursue her life-long passion of becoming a dancer, won Best Professionally Supported Production in the Factual category, while ‘OUT’, exploring the challenges individuals face when emerging into the LGBT community, was nominated in the same category.

This is the third year in a row that a Documentary Academy film has won an award at this festival. In addition ‘OUT’’s director Lauren McCaughey has also just won Best North East Young Filmmaker at the North East Young Filmmakers Awards.

Northern Stars Documentary Academy is based at Tyneside Cinema’s dedicated Pop-Up Film School in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle.

Training includes workshops on directing, producing and editing, and participants are provided with all the professional equipment they need to make their short films. The finished films will be shown at Tyneside Cinema later this year at a special premiere for family and friends.

Northern Stars Documentary Academy has been made possible by the sponsorship of intu , who co-own intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and intu Metrocentre in Gateshead.

Alexander Nicoll, intu’s Corporate Responsibility Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tyneside Cinema for a fifth year. The Documentary Film Academy offers real skills opportunities for young people accepted by the annual programme. The combination of these skills and experiences can certainly open doors to top jobs and rewarding careers. It’s particularly gratifying that Northern Stars Documentary Academy films are enjoying award-winning success each year, and we congratulate Lauren McCaughey for her Best North East Young Filmmaker accolade. I very much look forward to seeing the results of the hard work and creativity by this year’s filmmakers at the celebratory screening later this year.”

Charlene Maningding, a participant in last year’s Documentary Academy, commented: “This experience has helped me decide what I wanted to pursue as a career, giving me the chance to develop an interest in film and moving image.” She added: “I’ve met some really incredible people who have become good friends, and I’m truly grateful for the experience.”

Edie McWhinnie, another 2016 Academy participant, added: “This has been genuinely one of the most fun experiences I’ve had and also one of the most informative. It’s been a massive learning experience but really interesting too.”

Ian Fenton, Tyneside Cinema’s Creative Director of Learning & Participation, said: “Northern Stars Documentary Academy offers young people in the North East a golden opportunity to make bold short films about the world around them. If you’ve ever seen a factual film and wondered how it was made, I urge you to apply so you can find out about documentaries and make your own.”

He added: “Once again we are hugely grateful to intu, whose generous support for the Academy enables us to offer this brilliant opportunity for a fifth year.”