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Back in May we asked young people to get creative and show us their experience of lockdown life through our Nature in your Neighbourhood short filmmaking competition. Using their local neighbourhood as inspiration, we wanted to see young people's insights into living through a global pandemic and perceived changes in a world with less noise.
We received a truly unprecedented number of entries, with over 400 films being made by young people - from teenagers to children as young as five - to create an astonishing and unique snapshot of the experiences of young people living through the COVID-19 lockdown across the UK.
Nature in your Neighbourhood has been a unique opportunity to collect a ‘time-capsule' of films made by young people of different ages, backgrounds, and from all walks of life. During such uncertain times for us all, the films touch on topical issues such as climate change, mental and physical wellbeing, community and isolation, the importance of human interaction, and changes that they perceive need to be made in the world today.
The huge number of inspiring films we received made it extremely challenging for our judges to select a shortlist. We initially promised to recognise one winner and two runners-up, however, with so many fantastic entries, we've had no choice but to extend the shortlist and recognise a top ten; one winner and nine runners up. The overall winner will receive £300 of filmmaking equipment, while the runners-up will receive a year's subscription to Netflix or a £50 cinema voucher.
We want to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank everyone who entered the Nature in Your Neighbourhood competition. We never anticipated receiving so many entries and it's been heart-warming to witness young people's unique experiences captured on camera during this unexpected and life-changing time.
We're delighted to announce that the winning film is Ted's Lessons from Nature, made by 9-year-old Ted from York. Ted's film is an insightful exploration of his own learnings from his local area and showcases how accessible filmmaking at home can be with minimal resources.
This feels unbelievable and difficult to describe because I've not won anything like this before. I've loved making films over lockdown.Ted, aged 9, winner of Nature in your Neighbourhood
As Ted's narration says in his winning film: "The lockdown made me stop hurrying about and made me appreciate the nature around me and I started to realise that it is something we can learn from. It just gets on with things without complaining and it teaches us how we should get on too".
Huge congratulations to Ted, who has won £300 of filmmaking equipment, with which to continue his filmmaking journey.
"I've loved making films over lockdown and entertaining and educating my classmates", said Ted. "To be able to do a project like this, and to win something, when it's all about a topic that's so important to my family and friends, well it's totally amazing! Thank you for choosing my entry."
Each of the runners-up below are worthy of special mention, and provide more unique insights into the way young people have discovered and rediscovered the natural world during the lockdown period.
Congratulations to all of the young filmmakers below, who each win a year's Netflix subscription or £50 cinema voucher.
Second place goes to Time To, a beautifully made film highlighting a vulnerable young person who discovers that lockdown has given her the time to paint the beauty of her local area which she reconnects with after leaving the house for the first time in 12 weeks for a walk in her local area. Made by 17-year-old Orlaith, Time To... includes a unique piece of music composed by her father.
Third place goes to The Seed, a remarkable and extraordinarily well-made animation made by siblings Ben (16) and Anna (18). The film was inspired by the positive effect lockdown was having on the natural world and serves as a reminder for people to pay attention to even the smallest elements of their local environment.
Fourth place goes to Dear Future Me, another emotive film with a different take on the competition brief. Made by 11-year-old Rebecca, the film features her writing a letter to her future self, documenting her experience with nature during lockdown.
Fifth place goes to Nature in My Neighbourhood by Joe from Northern Ireland. Joe is 10 years old and has autism, and really enjoyed using film as a means to showcase his daily walks to Cookstown Sports Arena to visit a family of rabbits he discovered living in a burrow during his lockdown adventures.
In sixth place is New Neighbours, a lovely film by 12-year-old Evelyn, which really highlights a sense of community and togetherness, with evocative naturalistic sound evolving into stirring recordings from this year's VE day celebrations in her local area. Just as she met new people on her street, Evelyn has captured moments of meeting the animals that she's discovered are her new neighbours.
In seventh place is Contrast, made by Jake, who created a film to highlight how much nature can support those with mental and physical support needs. Jake has OCD and sensory processing disorder, and made this film to portray the contrast he experiences when surrounded by nature compared to the intensities of modern life.
In eighth place is Nature Unlocked in Lockdown, a mini-documentary by Grayson, which was inspired by his favourite nature TV presenters Steve Backshall and Sir David Attenborough.
This time has been hard, but there are good things too, and this film should remind everyone of that!Grayson, runner-up in the Nature in your Neighbourhood competition
The penultimate runner-up place in ninth goes to Kitty, aged 10, with her film Kitty's Random Acts of Wildness, a very professionally-made film highlighting all the nature she's discovered in her back garden and beyond.
Our final runner-up in tenth place is A Window on the World, by Max, a 15-year-old student who is keen on highlighting current affairs and issues in society. His film showcases how he used his iPad, the Facetime app and his own imagination to help his vulnerable grandfather escape the tedium and loneliness of life in lockdown.
Congratulations to Georgina in Lincoln, for her creative, thoughtful and candid documentary about what it's like to be a young girl on the autism spectrum.
Viewing time 8 mins
Watch our virtual talk with Sarah Gavron in full, as she speaks to hundreds of young people to offer careers advice and discuss representation in cinema.
Viewing time 40 mins
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