Volunteer Films

We are passionate about helping charities promote their work through powerful storytelling and pride ourselves on our sensitive and collaborative approach to film-making. The films are completely free for the charities and vary enormously in style and content, and are used for purposes such as brand awareness, volunteer recruitment, campaigning and fundraising.

Volunteer Films was devised and developed by Media Trust and has been running for over ten years for several different funders including City Bridge Trust and John Lyon’s Charity. We work with some of the industry’s most creative directors, producers, cameramen and editors to make powerful and engaging charity films that can be widely shared.

Royal Society for Blind Children 'My Life Without Limits'
Directed by Lewis Knaggs (LSK Productions)

Whilst Media Trust oversees all the elements of production involved in making an extremely persuasive piece of film content for charities, we also train the selected charities in Social Media, Filmmaking and Distribution/Strategy to help them once they have a film to show and distribute. Once completed, copyright of the film belongs to the charity and they are given all assets created during the filmmaking process for their own use. Funders traditionally host a screening event to celebrate the release of the films and venues used include the Barbican Cinema, ICA, Roxy and Curzon Soho.

Especially for smaller charities [the Volunteer Films scheme] gives you the opportunity to showcase your services as professionally and noticeably as the larger players.

Volunteer Films Charity 2019

A funder can either nominate a number of charities, a minimum of ten per project, who would benefit from a film or we can help administer an application process for their beneficiaries. The Media Trust then produces these short 3-minute films, pairing together highly skilled volunteer filmmakers with the selected charities.

Doorstep Library #Words Take You Places
Directed by: Michaela Lowe

Individual filmmakers work closely on the development of the film with the charity and will produce this film pro-bono, volunteering approximately two days shooting and three days editing as part of the process.  Production expenses are covered by a small fee of up to £1,500.

It was a fantastic opportunity to give something back to the community and meet new filmmakers with exciting perspectives. Media Trust have a long history of excellence and a wide network in this community.

Volunteer Filmmaker 2019

Spectra 'Who Is Alex'
Directed by James Webber (Springhead Film Company)

The films have extremely high production values and are often award-winning.  In 2019 three films were shortlisted for a Charity Film Award with one, ‘Role Models’, picking up a Gold Award giving valuable additional exposure for both charity and director.

If you are a funder and interested in offering this opportunity to your beneficiaries please contact wendyp@mediatrust.org to find out more. Please note this a closed scheme, only open to selected beneficiaries of the funders. If you are a charity and you are interested in us putting together a budget outline for a commissioned film for you please get in touch. 

We are currently recruiting 20 directors for our next #VolunteerFilms programme which will run from January-October 2020. If you would like to be a Volunteer Films filmmaker please apply below by the 22nd November 2019. Please note you must be London-based or willing to travel. For more information contact daisyc@mediatrust.

Apply to be a Volunteer Filmmaker here

Our Corporate Partners

We enjoy outstanding support from the media industry. Our partners include: