If you’ve ever thought about how to engage young audiences aged 16-30 but have been unsure where to start or even if you’ve begun work in this area but are now thinking about how to take it to the next level, then this is the resource for you.
Film Hub London is Young Audiences lead for FAN and we have been listening to and learning from the incredible FAN members delivering this work at venues, festivals and film societies across the UK. For this guide – FAN’s ‘Guide to Working with Young People’ – Moira McVean (FAN Young Audiences Manager) in collaboration with FAN Young Consultant Thea Berry has gathered case studies and examples of many of the ways you can bring young people and youth voice into your venue to authentically support you in engaging young people as young audiences for independent film.
The guide is split into chapters that highlight ways in which you can work with young people and throughout you’ll find links to supporting documents and further guidance. We’ve also included plenty of real-world quotes from both young people and venue management to help with board conversations and advocacy for the benefits of this work. Crucially, everything recommended is evidence based and grounded in research.
The introduction references research documents that have helped us determine the key barriers to young people’s attendance at independent venues with statistics that point towards the business case for young audience development.
It’s possible to read this guide as a journey that a young person could take with your organisation. Beginning as a focus group participant, moving to becoming a young writer and reviewer and onwards to Youth Advisory group member, Young Trustee, Mentee and Mentor. We have also gathered a range of case studies from across FAN detailing Young Programmer initiatives and examples of how these groups have led to the formation of independent film collectives.
So, with this resource we also want to encourage you to think about opening your venue’s doors and handing over your curatorial reigns to takeovers by these young collectives, youth led festivals and film clubs.
Significantly, all the practitioners we invited to contribute have highlighted one over-riding message and that is that to effectively attract young people to your venues and events, it is essential that you involve them in the design and development of your programmes and spaces. Therefore, our intention for this resource is to inspire and encourage more of the FAN membership to embrace and experiment with working with young people. We believe that by working with young people, taking on board their suggestions and advice and innovative ways of thinking, that the rewards will include welcoming young people into your venues as new audiences for independent film.