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News Report Page 8 of 21
Publication Date:- 2018-05-12
News reports located on this page = 2.

Liverpool's got the WoW factor - A leading literary festival looks to break down barriers during May

WoW Festival star Benjamin Zephaniah.

LIVERPOOL'S longest running literary and writing festival is back with a month long programme of high profile events.

WoWFest 2018 runs throughout May at venues across the City and brings together writers, journalists, performers, activists, commentators, broadcasters, academics and communities.

Now in its 18th year, WoWFest will focus on the 'prose and cons' of Brexit with its theme of Crossing Borders. Guests include Britain's most popular poet, whose autobiography is currently Radio 4's book of the week, Benjamin Zephaniah, Comic actor Robert Webb and human rights campaigner and politician Shami Chakrabarti.

Festival co-director Madeline Heneghan, explains:- "Crossing Borders responds to the recent national and international political, social and cultural developments around issues of Brexit, the EU, migration, race, diversity and more. We will explore messages of togetherness, hope and inclusivity by building stories and experiences around the thoughts, ideas and hopes of our community."

The festival, which is supported by Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England, also provides a platform for local talent as it showcases the wider work of Writing on the Wall's writing projects.

Based at Toxteth Library, Writing on the Wall began life in 2000. Its remit was to host a week long festival of events. Today it hosts an annual programme of creative writing and heritage programmes working with communities across Liverpool and the wider Region.

The group organises events and writing development workshops, including the Liverpool Young Writers project and the popular free to enter competition for aspiring novelists, Pulp Idol. To date, the competition has shone the spotlight on more than 200 unpublished Liverpool writers.

WoW co-director Mike Morris said:- "Our programme of events is designed to help identify and inspire the wealth of untapped local literary talent we have and then help these writers to find their voice. We then help them to present their work to the widest possible audience. The festival offers the chance for people to discuss and reflect on issues of social justice as well as providing stimulating and thought provoking performances."

Other highlights this year include Palestinian writer Mourid Barghouti,rapper and activist Akala and leading feminist Beatrix Campbell.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:- "We're delighted to host WoWFest in the City. Over the years this festival has become 1 of the highlights of the City's packed cultural calendar. Once again the festival has seized the moment by taking the most topical of events and asking us all to consider what they mean to us. It's also fantastic that WoWFest continues to support our home grown writing and performing talent. It promises to be a great festival month for Liverpool."

WoWFest has been given extra Council funding this year as part of the 2018 cultural programme. A host of festivals including Africa Oye, Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, LEAP and DADA Fest have been given a boost to present some of their most eye catching and ambitious line ups to date.

For more information about the WoWFest 2018 watch the promotional video now and for a full programme of events, latest updates and more visit:- WoWFest.UK.

 The National Youth Film Academy is heading to Liverpool on the search for new talent
Photographs by Graeme Holmes.

IF you don't know who The National Youth Film Academy (NYFA) is or what they do, it was founded by Rob Earnshaw in 2011. The NYFA has worked closely in association with BFI Future Film and together devised a way to help the best in British Filmmaking and Acting talent develop their careers in the industry.  Now the NYFA is heading to the North West of England, in June 2018, as part of a programme of UK wide auditions and interviews to find the next generation of:- talented actors, screenwriters, directors and film crews.

The NYFA provides the opportunity to train with respected industry professionals and meet with like minded individuals to collaborate and learn over 10 days.  Previous mentors for the organisation have included actor Simon Bird, best known for his portrayal of Will McKenzie in 'The Inbetweeners' and Gareth Edwards, who directed 'Star Wars - Rogue One.'  IFTA winner John Connors (Cardboard Gangsters) and Casting Director Sue Jones (Nil By Mouth) also worked with members and shared their insight into a growing industry during the last Introductory Course in April 2018.

This training program started April 2011, when a select group of young excited and talent individuals descended on the BFI Southbank and took part in the 1st ever National Youth Film Academy Introductory course.  Ever since the program has become highly successful.  To take part in the 2018 program, you have to attend auditions and interviews.  These interviews are being held on Saturday, 16 June 2018, at the Jurys Inn in Liverpool, between 11am to 3pm. There are auditions for Actors, and interviews for a full range of creative and technical roles including:- Director, Producer, Writer, and Editor. Participants are assessed on their talent, enthusiasm and professionalism, with the very best invited to become full members of the National Youth Film Academy. With thousands applying each year for a place with the National Youth Film Academy, competition is expected to be tough. 

If successful, the organisation offers representation through a feeder agency for its actors and access to exciting job opportunities for its filmmaking members, as well a range of membership benefits and access to networking and development opportunities.

To apply to join the National Youth Film Academy or to find out more about our courses on offer go to:- NYFA.Org.UK.

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