Young people filming - Northern Stars
Tyneside Cinema's Pop Up Film School for young people
Nicky Mckeen

Member Article

Young North East filmmakers focus on social issues in series of new documentaries screened at Tyneside Cinema

A documentary on the social issues behind an iconic Newcastle photographer’s work and a glimpse into the region’s surfing community are among four new short films made by young people as part of the Northern Stars Documentary Academy, delivered by Tyneside Cinema and intu.

The 16 young people aged 15-18 have been working at Tyneside Cinema’s Pop Up Film School over the autumn to develop their filmmaking skills.

They shot their documentaries, mentored by industry professionals, in October and since then have been editing the films into their finished form.

The four new documentary films receive their premiere on Thursday 14 December at Tyneside Cinema in front of an audience of family, friends and industry professionals. The finished films will also be entered into festivals in the UK and beyond.

The films are:

• STILL LIFE - A look at some of the people who appear in the pictures of the celebrated photographer Tish Murtha, who captured the life of young people in the West End in the early 80s. The film asks what their lives were like when those pictures were taken and what has happened to them since.

• DARKER WATERS - A profile of surfing in the North East, where two surfers explain what inspires them to brave the cold waters of the North Sea in pursuit of their passion.

• JADE* - The inspiring story of Jade Gadd, who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition that can leave her confined to her bed for days at a time, and how she copes with her condition through her creativity and with the support of her family.

• PLAIN SIGHT - A documentary about the treatment of women in society. Often hidden and (until recently) unacknowledged, harassment, violence and abuse is discussed from the viewpoint of women who have experienced it or work with those who do.

Delivered annually at Tyneside Cinema, Northern Stars Documentary Academy aims to give young people across the North East an opportunity to develop new skills in filmmaking, ignite a lifelong passion for film and improve job prospects. The Academy is open to 15-18 year olds from the North East and is completely free of charge.

The programme is now in its fifth year and has been made possible thanks to funding from intu properties plc, who co-own intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and intu Metrocentre in Gateshead. The Academy is a key part of intu’s corporate responsibility strategy in the North East which focuses on educational and skills support for young people. All the young people taking part are able to add their films to their portfolio, and previous participants have used their experience from the programme to gain entrance to university and get work in the film industry.

Alexander Nicoll, intu Corporate Responsibility Director, said:

“Over the years the Northern Stars Academy films have both inspired and jolted audiences. Dealing with subjects chosen by the young filmmakers, the films highlight important social issues and the many, often hidden, individuals who give so much to their local communities and often face personal challenges as they do so. I and everyone at intu are very proud to support these filmmakers as they promote these stories through their films.”

Ian Fenton, Creative Director of Learning & Participation at Tyneside Cinema, added: “These four exciting, informative and touching short films are the result of tremendously hard work by our young filmmakers, and we are proud to present them here at Tyneside Cinema.As Northern Stars Documentary Academy enters its fifth year the programme continues to provide a unique opportunity for young people to learn about the art of documentary filmmaking and develop their skills, and as ever we are immensely grateful for the vital support of intu for this important project.’

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nicky Mckeen .

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