The Young Women’s Film Academy Cio is a registered charity (no. 1179614) led by women focused on improving the well-being of girls and young women while providing them with film making skills. Our aim is to support girls and young women aged up to 25 in the North East of England to advance their lives, through the provision of:

    • activities which develop skills, capacities and capabilities which will enable them to participate in society as mature and responsible individuals;
    • the promotion of resilience and good mental health;
    • education and training


YWFA was originally an idea created by documentary film maker Emily Barber and actor Charlie Hardwick, both native to the North East. The first film was funded by Barnardos and explored the theme of mental health and the relationships between Mothers and Daughters (2010). The programme was further developed as a project of Little Big Butterfly CIC (established in 2012) and was awarded charitable statusin 2018,so it is now operating as a charitable incorporated organisation (Charity Number 1179614). The YWFA works only with female beneficiaries and only with female staff members, volunteers and film makers and it the only Female Film Academy in the UK.

YWFA improves the wellbeing and life chances of young women through creative drama and film opportunities, engaging with hard to reach communities that would not otherwise engage in cultural arts activities and who find it hard to have their voices heard. Funding has previously been awarded through community foundations, charitable grants, local organisations e.g. Police Crime Commissioner and Big Lottery.