Million Youth Media, a London-based organization that provides free training for young creatives to allow them access to careers in the creative industry and help develop the “next generation of filmmakers and under-represented talent,” has won the second annual Duke of Edinburgh Film & TV Inclusion Award. The honor was presented by Prince Edward at the Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB)’s Talent Showcase, held Thursday evening at The Savoy Hotel in central London in association with Walt Disney Studios.
The organization was one of six nominees, which also included Access All Areas, Access: VFX, Georgette Turner, Resource Productions and Screen Alliance Wales. Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh, formerly the Earl of Wessex, is the youngest sibling of King Charles III.
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Million Youth Media (MYM) and its MYM Academy was founded by Fully Focused Productions, which describes itself as a “youth-driven production company.” Their operation is led by Nick Bedu, co-founder and head of production, and Teddy Nygh, co-founder and creative director.
“We believe in what we’re doing for young people and for society and the industry as a whole,” Bedu said in accepting the award. “So it’s really massive for us to be given this award. And I guess we’ll use it as a springboard and a step to harness the energy and really shine a light on the inclusivity and intersectionality of inclusivity that we deal with on a regular basis and to raise awareness of alternative paths into the industry.”
He added: “A lack of formal education is not always the barrier that young people think it is, because we need this industry to be as diverse and creative as possible. And we do it from the ground up, we really do put our heart and soul into nurturing the young people.”
The Duke of Edinburgh Film & TV Inclusion Award 2023, previously known as The Earl of Wessex Award, was first presented in January 2023 to the charity 6ft From the Spotlight for its work to improve mental health and well-being in the U.K. film and TV production sector.
In his remarks, the Duke of Edinburgh lauded the initial success of the honor. “It’s been interesting to see how things have moved forward since 6 Foot From the Spotlight won last year’s award and how the award has opened more doors,” he told the audience. “There’s been a fantastic response from the film and TV community. You have to break down barriers, so again we’re shining a light on the people who are connecting the dots to encourage the next generation.”
Comparing the film and TV industries to sports and other exclusive clubs, he highlighted: “You normally have to have somebody to introduce you to come in. And so how do you encourage the next generation…. It’s trying to work out where that point of access comes and how you create those moments of consciously thinking, ‘let’s have an open day,’ not just for sons and fathers and daughters and mothers, but actually how do you get up in a wider community to just come in and see what happens on the inside?”
The film and TV inclusion honor is “an important initiative that shines a light on the inspirational work that is helping foster and progress talent inclusion in Britain’s screen production workforce,” the PGGB highlighted.
Disney backs the Talent Showcase as part of its work supporting underrepresented talent in the British production space via several industry initiatives, including the Star Imagine creative talent program in partnership with the National Film and Television School (NFTS), as well as collaborations with the London Screen Academy and MAMA Youth Project.
PGGB CEO Lyndsay Duthie congratulated all finalists and the winning organization, Million Youth Media. “We celebrate their relentless endeavors to provide talented young people from underrepresented communities with the tools, opportunities and knowledge they need to thrive,” she said and vowed: “We are not resting on our laurels.”
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