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Film Academy Goes Back To School For Mass Movie-Premiere


Schools and Colleges across the UK will be rolling-out the red carpets when they take part in the mass movie-premiere of a new film directed by Todd Carty.

With a cast and crew including more than 300 young people (14 – 25 year-olds), the 90-minute feature film ‘The Perfect Burger’ is the fifth film production by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA).

The film – a comedy-horror – sees former ‘Eastenders’, ‘The Bill’ and ‘Dancing on Ice’ star, Todd Carty, making his full feature-film directing debut and stars BYFA students performing alongside actress Pauline Quirke - best known for her role in comedy series ‘Birds of a Feather’ and soon to join the cast of ITV1 soap ‘Emmerdale’.

The Co-operative’s £500,000, three-year support for the BYFA is an integral part of its Inspiring Young People Campaign designed to open up new ways for the next generation to seize opportunities and change their world for the better through corporate social responsibility efforts such as the BYFA.

BYFA allows young people to benefit from skills and experiences shared by stars and industry professionals while making professional standard films to showcase their own creative talents. The partnership will enable more than 3,000 students, from 14 years of age through to postgraduate levels of education, to experience the various aspects of film production.
Everything from camera to makeup and from wardrobe to post-production is offered to students to enhance their CVs and help them make informed decisions about future education or career choices.

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns at The Co-operative Group, said: “We felt that, as ‘The Perfect Burger’ was crafted by young people, it was only fitting that schools across Britain should get a chance to premiere the film.

“For those who want to break into the film industry, bridging the gap between education and practical experience is critically important. BYFA seeks to give all interested students, no matter what their background or ability, the opportunity to experience first-hand the thrills and challenges that a career in film could bring, as well as helping prepare them for future employment.”

Director Todd Carty, commented: “This project has been a fantastic experience, invaluable and enjoyable for both me and the young people. You do hear negative stories about young people in the media but positive projects like The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy highlight just what they can achieve!

"I was incredibly impressed by the level of dedication, talent and enthusiasm shown during the making of this film. It is so inspiring to work with a group of such motivated individuals and the positive impact it had on all those involved was clear to see.

“For young people to be offered this level of practical, hands-on experience across such a diverse range of roles is rare. It is notoriously difficult to break into TV and film but this experience is invaluable for those interested in a career in the industry and can really help to open doors for them.”

‘The Perfect Burger’ will be sent to 100 Co-operative schools nationwide and is available to all other UK schools.

For more information about The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy or, for schools wanting to order their copy of the film, visit


Notes to Editors
The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) was established to provide a solid link between the commercial film industry and all branches of media education, by offering professional standard training and vocational experience twinned with students’ current academic study.

Unique to the BYFA, students, from 14 years of age right through to postgraduate levels of education, work with professional filmmakers to produce a full-length feature film. What’s more, they get their name in the films credits - making the students’ youth voluntary work more attractive to potential employers

The Co-operative Group stands apart from other major retailers in the UK as a business which is owned, not by a small group of shareholders, but by more than five million consumers. With core interests in food, financial services, travel, pharmacy, funerals and farms, it has an annual turnover of £14 billion, employs 123,000 staff and operates over 5,000 retail trading outlets handling more than 20 million weekly transactions.

Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The Co-operative Food is the fifth largest food retailer. The Co-operative Financial Services is one of the largest and most diversified financial mutual businesses, operating The Co-operative Bank, The Co-operative Insurance and Britannia.

The Co-operative is the UK’s number one provider of funeral services, the third largest retail pharmacy chain, a leading travel retailer, supplying the travel needs of more than three million people annually, and is the UK’s largest farmer.

Among its other businesses are The Co-operative Motor Group, The Co-operative Electrical Shop and The Co-operative Legal Services


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