Netflix and Britain’s National Youth Theater have launched an awareness-raising program after a study revealed alarming concerns about favoritism in the creative industries.
A National Youth Theater survey of 3,000 young people in the UK found that the ‘fake baby’ effect extended not only on screen, but also behind the scenes. About 79% of young people believed they needed connections rather than talent and determination to make it and a further two-thirds (68%) thought they needed to live in a big city to have a career in TV or film .
To address these concerns, IGNITE Your Creativity, a free program from Netflix and the National Youth Theater, aims to help young people build networks and raise awareness about the wide range of behind-the-scenes careers in film, TV and theater. The program supports 500 young people aged between 14 and 25 in South Wales, West Yorkshire and the North East of the country.
An advisory panel including Oscar-winning designer Eve Stewart, BAFTA-nominated producer Luti Fagbenle, TV executives Johnny Capps and Chantal Rickards, film producer Lauren Dark, lighting designers Jessica Hung Han Yun and Rob Halliday, and filmmaker Matthew Penry-Davey will support the program .
Anne Mensah, VP UK content, Netflix, said: “Young people are brilliantly astute, so it’s not surprising they believe connections rather than sheer talent are the key to success. Unfortunately, the evidence proves them wrong. Our industry has a pronounced lack of socio-economic diversity, in part because it is freelance, which makes it difficult for those from less privileged backgrounds to gain a foothold. IGNITE Your Creativity is designed to raise awareness and aspirations, and build trust and networks so that young people don’t need to have existing industry connections, live in a big city, or have a degree for a career in TV and movie.”
Paul Roseby, CEO and Artistic Director of National Youth Theatre, added: “Theatre is one of the great pipelines to TV and film, but unfortunately the pipeline of opportunities for so many young people has been interrupted for so long. Certain parts of the creative industries are growing, but ironically so is the skills gap in manufacturing talent. This partnership will help restore the imbalance and we are thrilled to be pioneering this with our friends at Netflix.”