Netflix and the U.K.’s National Youth Theatre have launch an awareness program after a survey revealed alarming concerns about nepotism in the creative industries.
A National Youth Theatre survey of 3,000 young people across the U.K. found that the “nepo-baby” effect extended beyond on screen talent to behind the scenes roles too. Some 79% of young people believed they need 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 alleviate these concerns, IGNITE Your Creativity, a free program from Netflix and the National Youth Theatre, aims to help young people build networks and raise awareness about the wide range of behind the scenes careers in film, TV and theatre. The program will support 500 young people aged 14-25 years in South Wales, West Yorkshire and the Northeast 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 U.K. content, Netflix, said: “Young people are brilliantly astute so it’s unsurprising that they believe it’s connections rather than raw talent that’s key to success. Unfortunately the evidence proves that they are not wrong. Our industry has a pronounced absence of socio-economic diversity partly because it’s freelance, which makes it tough for those from less privileged backgrounds to gain a foothold. IGNITE Your Creativity has been designed to raise awareness and aspirations, and build confidence 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 film.”
Paul Roseby, CEO and artistic director of National Youth Theatre, added: “Theatre is one of the great pipelines to TV and Film but sadly the pipeline of opportunity for so many young people has been broken for so long. Certain parts of the creative industries are growing, but ironically so is the skills gap in production talent. This partnership will help redress the imbalance and we’re thrilled to be pioneering it with our friends at Netflix.”
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