Budding film-makers on Wearside are hoping to make an impact with two hard-hitting productions on substance abuse. Health Reporter JANE PICKEN finds out more.
LAST week young people from the Tackle It project celebrated the screening of two films they are hoping will get people thinking twice about alcohol and drug misuse.
The films, Harvest and Lilya, were shown at Sunderland University’s Media Centre.
They’ve been produced by a group of 10 young people from Washington and Sunderland, working alongside Tyne & Wear Museums, Sunderland Youth Offending Service and Superkrush Films.
Lasting 15 minutes each, Harvest and Lilya were made through Tackle It, a project aiming to address the effects substance misuse can have on young people’s lives.
The project involved young people from both the looked-after sector and Wear Kids, a voluntary support network at Sunderland Youth Offending Service.
Made up of 13 and 14-year-olds, the group visited Beamish Open Air Museum and The Poison Garden at Alnwick Garden to find inspiration for the films.
They were actively involved in every stage of the production of both films, from scriptwriting to editing, and, after attending a series of drama workshops, the group members also have starring roles in the film.
Tackle It participant Lisa Carr, 13, said: “The project was really educational and fun.
“I hope there will be more opportunities to do things like this in the future. I hope young people will learn more about substances and misusing them, especially the effect they can have on you.”
Lee Ellison, 13, a participant of the Tackle It project added: “I thought the project was exciting. It was enjoyable taking part in the film with other actors and working with specialists from the museums and the film company.”
During the premiere guests will have a chance to view both Harvest and Lilya and meet the young people who have been involved in the project.
Kath Boodhai, assistant outreach officer at Tyne & Wear Museums said: “Tackle It is a unique project which will leave a lasting legacy in educating young people on the effect substance abuse can have on their lives.
“This premiere is a fantastic way to honour these inspirational young people who have put so much time and energy into warning others about the dangers of substance misuse.”
In addition to the films, a DVD will also include a series of interactive workshops and activities which deal with the issues of substance misuse.
This Tackle It DVD will be used as an educational tool by the Youth Offending Service, young people’s agencies and schools around the region.
For more information about Tackle It contact Kath Boodhai on (0191) 553 2323, e-mail email@example.com or textphone 18001 (0191) 277 2298.