Meet the Youth Panel

Our Youth Panel is made up of 14 young people between the ages of 16-19, selected from all four nations of the UK. The Panel meet twice each term, and are consulted on a range of topics including; discrimination; mental health representation; social media; the film industry.

Mercy

16, London

Hi, I’m Mercy, a Film, Drama and English Literature student from London. I’m an intersectional feminist and avid activist. I joined the BBFC Youth Panel because I’m really interested in issues pertaining to young people and am especially passionate about having progressive conversations about issues that affect the youth. In my spare time you’d find me roller-skating, crocheting and watching TV/Films and listening to podcasts.

Michael

16, Renfrew

Hi! I’m Michael and I’m a member of the BBFC Youth Panel. I decided to join the Panel to discover more about film and get to know other people my age who are just as interested in film as I am. Aside from binge watching, I spend my spare time playing football, running and listening to as much music as I can. In the future I’d love to study film and hopefully get the chance to be involved in the industry one day. Having the chance to be involved with the BBFC is something I’m really grateful for and I can’t wait to get involved with what lies ahead!

Emma

16, Coventry

Hi! I’m Emma, a sixth form student from the West Midlands currently studying English, Theatre and Media. It’s probably clear from my subject choices that I love all things creative, especially within media and film. I enjoy all forms of performing arts and understand the impact these can have on our thoughts and opinions – especially as young adults. I went for the opportunity to join the BBFC youth panel to be able to apply my passion, gain a wider understanding on the perspectives and opinions of the UK youth, as well as be a voice for the younger generation.

Rhys

16, Ipswich

Hi, my name is Rhys. I’m a film and media student and enjoy filmmaking, music, history and fictional writing. Films provide escapism into new worlds and I believe everyone has the right to feel safe when watching new films, so they can enjoy the journey having decided they are comfortable with the topics and themes noted in the classification guidance. In the fast developing digital landscape, media is becoming more accessible therefore it is important that classification policies stay up to date, which is why I decided to join the BBFC Youth Panel. I am dedicated to work with the team to ensure the youth voice is reflected in classification policies, so younger and more vulnerable individuals are protected in both cinemas screenings and home viewings.

Brandon

17, London

Hi, my name is Brandon. I am currently a college student taking a BTEC Level 3 course in Applied Science. In my spare time I enjoy watching films, video and online content. Also, I am learning to play the Saxophone which I enjoy very much. Prior to the lockdown I was attending Shotokan Karate lessons and working towards fulfilling one of my aspirations which is to achieve my Black Belt. During the lockdown I grew my hair as I did not want to risk giving myself a haircut and it’s longer than my grandma’s hair now. I also developed a passion for cycling and I am always challenging my endurance levels. I come from a Caribbean background and I am part of a large extended family which is a multicultural one therefore, I understand the importance of society accepting multiculturalism. I can confidently convey the views and opinions of a teenage black male living in an inner city, in a community which is often underrepresented when decisions from the public are sought. My experiences as a teenager in today’s society enables me to represent views and opinions which are similar to those of many of my peers. I consider myself very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to been on the youth panel of the British Board of Film Classification in order to ensure that I as young person am involved in the Classification process to ensure that the correct outcomes are achieved, at a time when my peers and I are affected by things such as suicide, self-harm, age, religious beliefs, disability, violence, racism and our gender.

Lewis

16, Herefordshire

Hi, I’m Lewis, and I’m so lucky and thrilled to be part of the inaugural BBFC youth panel. I’ve loved cinema for as long as I can remember. Since I’ve got older, I’ve realised I could have a career in film. Last October, I started a film review blog and now review films weekly as well as analysing scenes and more. I’m also an actor, I wrote and directed two plays with money raised from them going to charity. My work on these also led to me being awarded the gold blue peter badge. I am going to college in September where I will be studying film and media studies as-well as English literature and drama. I also did work experience at Odeon Cinemas and I am looking to get a part time job there once COVID blows over as I enjoyed it so much. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I am also able to advise regarding films that involve that subject matter and how our community could react to various portrayals. As for my favourite film- I am a massive fan of the horror and sci-fi genre. My favourite film currently (although It does change often) is Saint Maud.

Lucy

16, Shropshire

Hi, I'm Lucy. I'm 16 years old and from Shrewsbury, Shropshire. I love watching lots of types of films especially comedies and dramas. I joined the youth panel because I enjoy talking about films and wanted to hear other people's opinions on them, as well as express mine. In my spare time, I enjoy sewing and travelling, as well as walking my dog.

Shivam

18, London

Hi, I’m Shivam and I’m from London. I love film and always have, and the idea of collaborating with film classifiers on such an exciting project was an offer I couldn’t refuse! My interests include voraciously reading and writing, and I have written articles for i-D, VICE, The Face and Film Stories among others. My favourite film directors are Michael Haneke, Lars Von Trier, Luis Bunuel and Darren Aronofsky and my favourite film at the moment is leporine, surreal ‘Inland Empire’ by David Lynch. I believe young people should be pathing their own narratives and framing the conversation about our generation through our own autonomy, and the idea of working with fellow young people for young people makes me incredibly excited.

Megan

17, Belfast

Hi, my name is Megan and I live in Belfast. What interested me so much about the BBFC Youth Panel was the chance to be able to voice my opinion on important topics that affect young people nowadays, from diverse representation in the media to mental health. On top of studying History, Spanish and French in school, I act as if Netflix were another school subject, dedicating an embarrassing amount of time to re-watching ‘Community’ and every Louis Theroux documentary available. I aim to one day be involved in the production of documentaries, as I hope that my TV binges will eventually come in handy.

El

16, Nottingham

Hello!! I’m El. I enjoy writing, reading, directing, acting, movie marathons, and even creating some of my own. I decided to take the opportunity to be a part of the BBFC’s youth panel because I am passionate about representation in the media. I think it is a very valuable aspect in the industry as it provides a voice for the underappreciated. Furthermore, I am looking forward to being part of a group with diverse and meaningful ideas who are committed in representing the youths’ interests and opinions, in areas that lack young representation and viewpoints. When I’m not overflowing with new ideas, I like to read comics. One of my favourite comics of all time is called the Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. I also love listening to music like My Chemical Romance and Mitski.

William

17, Cumbria

Hello I’m William, and I’m a Year 13 student who loves watching, reading about and making films. I have a particular passion for animation and have experimented with anything I can get hands on, including shorts made with cut-outs, sand, whiteboards, wool and hand drawn frames, plus several projects using large homemade hand puppets who are currently overrunning my wardrobe. At the moment I’m using my Art A Level as an excuse to make my most ambitious film yet, focussing particularly on wordless narratives. I love going to the cinema and whilst lockdown has stopped these trips I’ve taken the opportunity to watch lots of older films I'd never even heard of! I’ve also gained filmmaking experience with the BFI Academy, specialising in lens based animation, where I worked on a film crew of other young people. Elsewhere,you might find me singing in various choirs or taking part in my local Youth Theatre where there’s often opportunities to help devise and direct the performances we put on. I also waste away plenty of time cartooning and keep a notebook handy to fill with ideas I want to hold onto for later. I leapt at the opportunity to join the BBFC Youth Panel, because I’m eager to meet other young people who want to discuss film. As the first ever Youth Panel it will be fantastic to shape our role together. Furthermore, being able to intelligently choose what I watch using film classifications, particularly over the past year, has really allowed me to shape a viewing experience that delved into the areas of cinema that interest me most and let me choose what I’ve been inspired by this year. I think it’s important that everyone has the chance to do this for themselves.

Aaron

17, Rhyl

Hi, I’m Aaron. I’m a young, enthusiastic and passionate filmmaker currently doing a Level 3 Media, TV and Film Production course and I have a large portfolio of experience of work within the arena of filmmaking and the creative arts. I enjoy creating and experimenting within filmmaking, watching films, writing, doing Practical Effects and SFX, and all sorts of artistic expressions and creative arts. I also enjoy being a part of discussions surrounding film and media, and I’m incredibly enthusiastic to do so. I’m also a huge loser. But nonetheless, I continue to enthusiastically embark on my mission to entertain, create, experiment, discuss, develop and gain experience. Aaron is my name and being a passionate film guy is my game.

Daniela

17, London

Hiya! I’m Daniela, I’m currently in my first year of sixth form studying English Literature, Sociology, and Media Studies. I consider myself a creative person with an interest in many of the creative arts such as film, writing and music. I hope to go on to pursue a career in writing and activism whether that’s in university or taking an alternative route. I’m excited to now be a part of the youth panel and begin having discussions about important and current topics surrounding today’s youth.

Theo

17, Surrey