Working With Young Programmers lab 2016 (Rhiannon Wyn Hughes)

Rhiannon Wyn Hughes, attended the Film Hub Scotland’s Working with Young Programmers in November 2016 – read about her experience below. 

“The one-day event, organised by Film Hub Scotland, featured introductions by Nicola Kettlewood (venue representative) and Carolyn Mills from Film Hub Scotland, which was a motivating start to the day. This was followed by the first case study – Discovery Film Festival, with a talk from Mike Tait and Discovery Young ambassadors. The second case study was Cutting East Film Festival. These were two interesting case studies. I got useful information from Mike Tait explaining the 12 month plan for his ambassadors and it was good to hear from the enthusiastic ambassadors themselves. We then had a presentation from YP Initiatives Hannah Higginson from Watershed, which dealt more with the statistics of the venue.

Matt Beere from Chapter got us all up and working with an interactive workshop, which went down well. It was also Useful opportunity to chat to other team members as well. Douglas Greenwood from Edinburgh FF and Jonathan Caicedo-Galindo from Cutting East FF gave a talk on ‘Progression for Young Film Makers’. Finally Dan Thomas, co-ordinator for the YP Network gave an honest and useful view of the challenges setting up Young Programmers Groups and sustaining them.”

We are working to develop a new group of Young Programmers in Rhyl and I wanted to hear about the experiences of a more established YP group. I wanted to know how they worked with the venue and  get some tips on the practical challenges, the activities and the long term  sustainability of groups.

As we develop our Young Programmers group in Rhyl, working with Rhyl Little Theatre, Rhyl 6th College and West Rhyl Young People’s Project, it was really useful to meet the Discovery Young Ambassadors with Mike Tait and hear about their experiences programming the ‘Films for Teens Chosen By Teens’ part of the Discovery Film Festival.

The event did highlight the challenges which face YP such as keeping the momentum going, continued engagement and the availability of venues. It also discussed all the add on skills and opportunities which a member of a YP group will develop such as marketing, learning to deal with customers, introducing the film.

I came back from Dundee with renewed enthusiasm and a clearer picture of the practicalities and the needs for sustaining our YP group as young people take part and then move on.

I now know what the most important ingredient is for a successful YP group – ENTHUSIASM!!

There were useful discussions about how the YP interact with a venue and the challenges of availability which restricts progress and activity. We now have a mobile cinema and will be able to respond to their ideas with more flexibility. We will be testing this experience shortly as they programme their first Si-Fi weekend in April. We will also use this information and experience to develop a short programme of features with our YP a few days before the Wicked Festival, it will be their ‘Wicked Fringe’


  1. The chance to raise issues and challenges of developing a YP group and also confirmation or not that the steps we were taking were the right ones, or that we could do it a better way.
  2. The course covered topics such as ticket deals, discussions following films, methods of recommendation ‘If you like this you will like that’.
  3. It was after this workshop that buying a mobile community cinema became a priority for us as we could see the limitations and expenses if we were having to rely on fitting into programmed venues.
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