Thank You Film Awards

Project Overview

This project explored what young people are grateful for, who young people are grateful to and their understanding of gratitude. Young people between the ages of 5 and 16, predominantly in schools and youth organisations across the UK, were asked to create a short film to say thank you to a person, organisation or group who have made life better in some way. The Thank You Film Awards ran between 2012-2015 as a national programme that asked young people to make a film based on ‘gratitude’. The report published draws on an investigation of the 182 films submitted to the programme between 2012 and 2014 and explores how 5-16 year olds in Britain understand the virtue of gratitude.

The e-magazine from the 2015 awards is available below. The e-magazine provides links to the winning films in each category, hosted on the Jubilee Centre YouTube Channel. A selection of Thank You Films from previous years are also available (click the clapperboard to access the YouTube channel).

Summary of Key Findings

  • 60% of the participants invoked virtue concepts as the reason for their gratitude: love, courage, self-discipline, justice and service were the most common;
  • The participants were most likely to make a film about people who inspired them;
  • Secondary age pupils were more likely to be grateful for benefits which went beyond their own immediate individual gain, while primary school pupils tended to focus on benefits which were self-orientated; and
  • Gratitude in the films is overwhelmingly expressed as a Triadic concept (i.e., a concept involving a specific benefactor) and so-called supererogatory behaviour is perceived to be important.

The research demonstrates how the emerging Jubilee Centre conceptualisation of gratitude can be used as a framework for future empirical studies investigating young people’s understandings of gratitude. The findings and subsequent discussion also provide a firm foundation for future research investigating similar themes.

Media and Blog Posts

Rewarding Gratitude in Schools and in Ourselves