The BFI launches the 'See Yourself on Screen Challenge'

13 May 2020

5 mins
The BFI's 2020 See Yourself on Screen Challenge
The BFI's 2020 See Yourself on Screen Challenge

We're very excited to share the BFI 's brand new See Yourself on Screen Challenge, which calls on young people aged 4-18 from across the UK to create their own idea for a mini-TV show they can film at home while on lockdown. 

Backed by doctor, TV personality and See Yourself on Screen Challenge Ambassador Dr Ranj, the Challenge will see winning entrants receive expert tuition before their mini-TV show is aired on national TV. The Challenge is a pan-industry initiative, led by the BFI through its Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), and supported by a collective of industry partners. Channel 5's Milkshake!, CITV, E4, S4C, FYI News and TG4 are supporting as broadcaster partners, each airing a number of the mini-TV shows.

We have to ensure we give a voice to, and reflect the lives of, children and young people all across the UK. The BFI's See Yourself on Screen Challenge is a really fun and engaging way to find out what their lives have been like over the last two months.

Screen Challenge Ambassador, Dr Ranj

Entrants are asked to submit an initial 30-second video, summarising their idea for a two-minute long mini-TV show that reflects their own personal experience of the global health emergency and life ‘staying at home' amidst the lockdown. For some guidance on this initial development aspect of the Challenge as well as every other major stage of filmmaking, make sure to check out our mini filmmaking guides below:

Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts who will shortlist entries in three different age categories; age 4-7; age 8-13 and age 14-18. Judges will then each pick three winning entries (one per age category), and these entrants will be offered digital masterclasses with an experienced figure from the television industry, who will help each finalist turn their idea into reality. The resulting two-minute mini-TV show will then be aired by one of the partner Public Service Broadcasters later this year.

Jackie Edwards, Head of the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund said: "The pandemic has highlighted the importance of Public Service Broadcasting in all of our lives. This is particularly true for children and young people for whom culturally relevant programming, and seeing people like them on screen, can provide a much-needed touchstone which isn't always readily available. We're inviting all young audiences in the UK to come up with programme ideas for lockdown life, not just as a creative challenge to entertain, but to help describe and document these very unusual times."

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced schools, businesses and other parts of society to shut down. As such, there are millions of children and young people at home in the UK, and free-to-access, regulated and safe television content is one of the most important tools at their disposal, be that to entertain, inform - or both.

Meanwhile, recent research shows that only half of children in the UK aged 8-15 feel that there were enough TV programmes showing people who looked like them, and this feeling was even more pronounced with children in the nations. The See Yourself on Screen Challenge is addressing this gap by encouraging young people to submit original and creative ideas for UK television content, putting the power in their hands to present ideas for TV shows that truly represent their own voices and stories.

Entries for the See Yourself on Screen Challenge should be submitted via The closing date for entries is 12pm noon on 25 May 2020 and successful shortlisted entrants will be notified by Friday 12 June 2020.

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