A KEIGHLEY filmmaker hopes to help young people pursue a career in the industry.

Louisa Rose Mackleston has launched We’re Rolling – a competition open to budding filmmakers in education Years 7 to 13.

Louisa – who has her own production company, Northern Fortress – said the competition aimed to address a skills gap.

"Bradford is the first UNESCO City of Film – which is an amazing achievement – so it’s important we nurture our talent," she said.

"We have to make sure Bradford district is celebrated rather than being famous for negative headlines."

Louisa was acclaimed for her directorial debut, Ruth & Safiya, a 15-minute short film set in Bradford about an "unlikely" friendship between an isolated British pensioner and a teenage refugee from Syria.

The film has been screened as far away as Korea, whilst Louisa’s career has seen her visit the likes of Australia and Japan to meet other production companies and to film documentaries.

"It’s a very difficult industry to get into – but it just takes that one break," said Louisa, 27.

"I hope We’re Rolling can help young people gain skills and confidence and see what the film industry is like to work in."

Louisa’s desire to help mould the next generation of filmmakers stems from the fact she had to overcome barriers herself.

"I want to be the person I didn’t have," she said. "I never had opportunities like this. No one told me filmmaking was a viable career. I let myself get pulled into a psychology degree, which wasn’t creative and therefore something I inevitably didn’t enjoy.

"My main barrier, though, has been my health. I have a chronic pain condition and have had to make adjustments.

"Being a woman, you’re underrepresented in the industry, too. It feels it isn’t built for a lot of people, but that culture is changing."

We’re Rolling is asking participants to tell their stories of Bradford district – whether set in the past, present or the future, and fiction, non-fiction or animation.

"I hope We’re Rolling can be annual. That way we can continue to support young people in Bradford," Louisa added.

She is already working on her next projects – including a documentary centred on Roukagia Afan, a young, female, Muslim friend of hers who is of mixed Syrian and Ukrainian heritage, as well as a drama.

For more information about We’re Rolling, visit northernfortressfilms.com/wererolling.