Kettle on, 7 cups of tea made and we’re off….

On April 2nd 2014, we’ll invite 1000 young people from Leeds, their teachers and guardians into the Town Hall for a gala awards night to remember.

The culmination of a year’s planning and filmmaking, the Golden Owl Awards recognises young talent from across our city. It showcases the amazing winning films from young people in front of their peers, industry professionals and local businesses.

Supported by Leeds Young Film Festival, Leeds City Council’s Artforms and design and communication agency, Logistik, the Golden Owl Awards are a place to engage and grow this rapidly expanding industry and talent within our city from an early age. By engaging with schools, community organisations and the Leeds Young Film Network, we’re able to reach out to young people in every corner of the city.

However, it’s not as simple as a competition. We don’t just throw the doors open and wait to see what we get back. All three partner organisations are dedicated to working with young people to enable them to take part and gain skills. This year this will also include sessions for their teachers to help them incorporate film into lessons, supporting the curriculum. The event itself is also delivered in an inclusive way with young people on site to photograph and interview winners, blog and tweet throughout the evening, as well as assist in the event management itself. It really is an event for young people by young people.

The truth is though that there is much more to event management than a few cups of tea and lots of chocolate biscuits, although they do undeniably help. It all really boils down to four things – a great team, a plan of action, a warm welcome and of course, rehearsals!

A great team – We’ve been working together now for three years. This means that we know each other really well. We know who is doing what and if it’s not broken, we don’t change it.

A plan of action– Get the right plan in place and you’re onto a winner. The tricky bit is sticking to it but we have someone who’s great at chasing us all up to make sure everything happens to plan. With defined roles and responsibilities, everything gets done and your live event can be enjoyable for everyone.

A warm welcome – Your guests are there for a reason. Ours have earned the right to be at our awards event so we make sure that we treat them like royalty. Make it special, personal and go the extra mile with a huge smile on your face and they’ll be guaranteed to come back again next year.

Rehearsals – You can plan as much as you like but if you don’t run it through beforehand you don’t really know how it will work. Make sure everyone is briefed and time your rehearsals. Allow enough space for the unexpected! Practice makes perfect.

We’re excited and ready to go. We can’t wait to welcome people to the awards and see what promises to be an exceptional feast of filmmaking. I’d encourage everyone to take part. Visit the Breeze website to find out more about creating and submitting your own film.

Sharon Ward at Logistik 

To find out more about making Leeds a child friendly city, see our website.

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