As part of the Daily Mirror’s campaign to stamp out knife crime in Britain, the Daily Mirror have launched a major competition to let young people have their say.
In association with TV station The Life Channel they are challenging young filmmakers aged 11-21 to make a movie about their perceptions of knife violence.
The competition, to be judged by celebrity experts actor Ray Winstone, ex-Eastender Joe Swash, So Solid Crew’s Ashley Walters and top police officer Duncan McCausland, is aimed at turning up new ideas on how to tackle knife crime from the age group most affected.
While the number of stabbings actually fell last year, attacks were still much too frequent, with 5,239 people admitted to hospital with knife wounds. And moves to be tougher on knife thugs seemed to be working with 1,386 jailed in the final three months of last year, up from 1,125 the year before. But still a massive 270 people died from stab wounds in England and Wales, the highest number for 30 years.
The Mirror launched its Stop Knives Save Lives campaign last summer as a devastating wave of stabbings raged across Britain, tearing families apart. As knife crime statistics seem to be gradually improving, it is possible some changes have begun. But much more is needed to rid the streets of knife crime.
Chief executive at The Life Channel Phil Austin says the competition is going to be huge. “What we want is to tune in to what young people are thinking,” he says. “Knife crime is a massive topic – in real life, films and on the news.
“Recent figures suggest because the figures are falling, things are getting significantly better.
“But the figures paint a much rosier picture than the reality and knife crime still poses a huge threat to our young people. I have no doubt this competition is going to be huge. We’ve confirmed a great panel of high-profile experts already and we’re in the process of signing up more.”
Open to budding filmmakers across the country, the competition gives all entrants the chance to gain exposure for their message.
The 90 second films will be judged at regional level, gaining local and national media attention along the way, before our panel of experts finally get to work.
The winning films from each region will also be shown to more than 5 million viewers across The Life Channel’s TV networks in GP surgeries, schools, colleges and pharmacies.
Of our finalists, 12 will win a Flip Video Ultra digital camcorder. A hit with celebs like Lily Allen and Paris Hilton, the pocket-size camcorder comes with a USB stick so videos can be uploaded onto sites like YouTube and Facebook hassle-free.
The ultimate winner from the 11 – 13 age group will win a selection of film merchandise from Universal while the 14 – 17 winner will get a tour of Pinewood Studios, where the James Bond and Carry On films were recorded.
And the winner from the 18 – 21 category will get the chance to work in the production team of film company Vertigo Films’ latest movie.
They will work on the set of the UK’s first 3D movie Street Dance for one week in September, while a group of their friends will be invited to spend a day on set.
HOW TO ENTER
Head to the Registration page on http://film.stopknivessavelives.co.uk and sign up – it’s FREE. Then just follow the simple instructions to upload your videos on the site. Please be sure to select your correct age category as we’ll be confirming the age for all finalists.
The easy steps are explained, and there are helpful tips if you’re having problems. Remember, you can enter as many videos as you want.
Deadline for entries is Friday, 17 July, with winners announced on 10 September.