August 2016

Arts engagement and film production with young people

Working with young people deemed to be particularly vulnerable and at high risk of offending, Synergy has been delivering film-making projects, enabling young people to broaden and challenge public perspectives by producing films that explore their opinions and lived experience. The projects are led by professional film makers and supported trained ex-prisoner facilitators and all the films are designed, filmed and directed by young people.

This summer we have been working on multiple producing projects with young people at Woodbridge Pupil Referral Unit, Park Campus Academy and with Looked After Children from Islington. Participants were required to work together in order to realise a storyboard, scout locations, create a script, act and direct. Practical skills building sessions included technical tuition in sound, camera operating and editing.

The films’ brief and theme was ‘Turning Point’ and content-creating discussions included personal testimony from the ex-prisoners about their time in prison as well as the changes they have made to support their desistance and rehabilitation.

The groups responded avidly, including the young people at Park Campus who produced ‘Delete’, a five minute film looking at threatening and controlling behaviour in relationships, and includes guidance on support available for young people experiencing similar situations.

Projects culminated in screenings of the groups’ films with peers, staff, carers and parents invited to special showcases to celebrate the young peoples’ achievements.

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