Young Film Programmers Update – 6 months in!

The Courtyard’s Young Film Programmers have been hard at work over the last 6 months putting together special screenings. From punk band introductions and 90s pop quizzes to a papier mache hand and a sequin cushion of Nicolas Cage’s face, they’ve brought a whole host of new experiences to The Courtyard Cinema. Next up is there Borderlines Film Festival screening of Orlando, My Political Biography (which is followed by a panel discussion) on Saturday 2 March, 5.30pm. Here’s what they had to say about their experiences with the projects so far:

Georgia Grace

“My experience so far participating in the BFI Young Film Programmers Academy under the wing of The Courtyard has been an engaging and fascinating education. As an amateur lover of film who has grown up attending various events and screenings at this wonderful independent venue, I was attracted to applying for this role. I was a little reticent about submitting an application as someone who has been largely unable to find employment due to disability. However I am so glad I decided to bite the bullet and apply for this position.

It’s been a privilege to be educated about the ins and outs of film programming.  I’ve been taught about the art of finely balancing a diverse programme to attract local audiences and then diligently marketing the screenings paired with community groups and artists to create events.

I feel my confidence has grown immensely and it’s been a really positive outlet for creativity. Each step of the process has been supported and backed by The Courtyard team through our regular meetings with line manager Ethan and members of staff from their specialist departments of marketing and social media, accessibility and research teams. I feel part of The Courtyard and wider community, and this project will have a lasting impact on me personally and in my professional development.  I am so grateful to have been given this wonderful opportunity.”


Our Young Film Programmers Finn and Georgia stand holding a poster that reads 'Horror-ford' and 4 tickets.   A woman in a skirt stands in heels with a sing that reads 'Power to the People'. The text on the right reads "bold, confident and exhilarating" and 'Orlando, My Political Biography'.   Young Film Programmer Georgia stands in the cafe presenting a quiz. People are sat around their tables participating.


Emily Mason

“Finding out more about the work that goes into creating a film programme at a venue like The Courtyard has been a really valuable experience. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the different marketing strategies that can be used to attract audiences to particular events, whether that be through social media, email campaigns, or print marketing. Throughout the project, it has been really exciting to see people who have never been to The Courtyard before attending our screenings, and it has been fantastic to offer opportunities for people to see films they might not have otherwise had a chance to watch on the big screen. My favourite screening so far was our November screening of We Are the Best, which had a musical introduction from a local band, Jazz Mags. Their performance was a really fun addition to the screening, and it was great to take over the building with punk spirit!”


An animated image of 3 homeless people in Tokyo. One of them is holding a baby wrapped in a blanket.  A woman lays on a sofa with a cuddly popcorn bucket and a sequin cushion with the face of Nicolas Cage on it.   A film poster for Dream Scenario in which Nicolas Cage is falling from the sky.


Finn Meredith 

“Working as a Young Film Programmer at The Courtyard has taught me so much and I’ve loved every second of it. I have been given the opportunity to work creatively with peers and learn from those above me, which has been incredibly rewarding and empowering. It has provided me with a platform where I feel my creative voice and opinions are valued, and at such a young age this has inspired me to pursue a career in the arts.

My supervisors have been incredibly generous in sharing all their knowledge and have taught me so much about the film industry! And I have been given many opportunities to practically apply this learning through creating and hosting events, creating marketing campaigns, creating my own film programs and more. And throughout all of these opportunities I have had the chance to meet and work with a diverse range of amazingly creative people. It has been a surreal experience which has made me love the world of film, and the arts as a whole, even more!”