Sparks Film School: Our Highlights of 2023

2023 has been a whirlwind of a year at Sparks Film School, with plenty of good news and achievements to celebrate.

Here, we take a look back over the last 12 months to share just some of the year’s success stories and highlights!

How to Find an Audience for Your Videos | Sparks Film School | an audience is gathered in front of a cinema screen.

This year has seen an incredible collection of film festival selections, nominations and wins for Sparks Film School students from all over the UK.

Students from Sparks Film School Hove won their SECOND “Best Film” prize at CIFFOW 2023, along with young filmmakers from Sparks Film Schools in Guildford, Yarm & Northallerton securing prize nominations too.

Students from Sparks Film School Dorking & Leatherhead had their work included in the Horsham Film Festival for a second year running. Students from Sparks Film School Balham and Sparks Film School Highgate were selected for the Little Venice Film Festival, the Northampton Film Festival and the Barnes Film Festival too.

Students from Sparks Film Schools in Wimbledon and Richmond were also involved in presentations for the Barnes Film Festival and students from Sparks Film School Derbyshire North also took part in the Ashbourne Festival and the Belper Arts Trail.

Young filmmakers from Sparks Film School Derbyshire North made pirate themed adventure movies at this year's Belper Arts Trail.

Young filmmakers from Sparks Film School Derbyshire North made pirate themed adventure movies at this year’s Belper Arts Trail.

This year, we officially entered our teenage years and celebrated our 13th year as a youth film school.

We’ll try to keep it to to a reflection on just this past year (and a manageable word count) here, but we’re very grateful for all the learning, the opportunities, the partnerships and the continued support of all our students, our families, our team, our sponsors and supporters in 2023 and over the last 13 years.

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our 13th birthday in May this year.

Sparks Film School launch animation courses - two young animators manipulate an animated scene on an ipad

We were also proud to introduce some new courses in Animation and Photography to Sparks Film Schools this year, with young animators and young photographers taking part in lots of pilot activities and our first official workshops.

We were overwhelmed by the feedback to these and can’t wait to introduce more new courses in Animation and Photography throughout 2024!

Crew members at Sparks Film School Hove

This year, we were overjoyed to launch new Sparks Film Schools in Glasgow, Teesside and North Yorkshire and Derbyshire North.

A key part of our mission over the last few years has been to break out of the South East and offer young filmmakers from all over the UK the opportunity to learn about filmmaking. It’s been an honour to welcome filmmakers from Scotland, from the North East and from the Midlands to join our incredible network of film students.

In 2024, we look forward to introducing even more Sparks Film School locations to help us reach our goal to inspire young filmmakers from every corner of the UK and beyond!

Young Film School Students at Sparks Film School in North Derbyshire during Summer Camps

In 2023, we’ve also made lots of new friends and found lots of new partners who have helped us to reach even more young filmmakers and support them to hone their skills, develop their creativity, their passion for filmmaking, their confidence and their potential.

We’ve been proud to work with some amazing new organisations, including local councils and youth organisations, The British Library, LGBT History Month, Soho Farmhouse, to name just a few.

Many of our local partnerships, such as schools, cinemas and charities, also help us to work with as many young people as we possibly can. Thank you to all who continue to partner with us, support our work and help our young film students to achieve great things!

Film School Students at Sparks Film School in South Croydon during Summer Camps

This year alone, we have worked with over 7,000 young filmmakers from all over the UK, and from around the world.

We’ve helped them to produce hundreds of unique and original youth-produced films and video content and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

Our students are the beating heart of Sparks Film School and drive everything we do. We know that they are the future of the film industry and fantastic content creators in their own right and its amazing to all of us here at Sparks that we get to work with you, encourage and inspire you.

We can’t wait to see what you achieve in 2024. From all of us here, thank you.

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