Tyneside Cinema hosts screening of six short documentaries to invitation audience
On Wednesday 17 March a unique screening of films will take place at Tyneside Cinema.
Six people from Newcastle upon Tyne who have been homeless and have suffered personal health issues have, over the last six months, been making short documentary films as part of their efforts to re-engage and to stabilise otherwise chaotic lifestyles.
The project is a collaboration between The Cyrenians, Helix Arts, Crisis Skylight Newcastle and Newcastle City Council’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund. It is part of ‘Creative Progression’ a high-quality, two year creative programme, over 20 people have taken part so far and have chosen between film-making and creative writing.
Toby Lowe, programme manager at Helix Arts explained:
“The programme works in range of ways; engaging people who might otherwise be wary about getting involved in education or training by offering them new and different opportunities. Enabling them by helping to raise their confidence and self esteem and by developing new skills – both work related and social. Through achieving in this way we help people discover new opportunities for themselves and motivate them to move on into meaningful activity such as further education, volunteering and work.”
The filmmakers have been led by Emily Barber of Striding Edge Films who has produced documentaries for Channel 4 and has directed award winning documentaries for television and the non-broadcast sector.
The screening will be an opportunity for the group to showcase their work to film makers and key players in the creative industries in Newcastle, such as Northern Film & Media and their friends and family.
The films being shown at the screening are;
- My Kind Of People ( by Leah) An insight into a North East working mans' club from an unlikely visitor's point of view.
- A Question Of Faith (by Adam) What do people really think about faith in modern day Britain?
- Asylum (by James) A startling story told first hand about how society struggles to support the invisible scars of serving in the army.
- God's Sense Of Humour (by Kennedy) A short film giving us rare access to the intimate truths of women.
- RT (by David) A 30 second surprise of a film inspired by personal experience.
- My Re-generation (by Stephen) A short film taking us behind the scenes at a city farm.
Adam Champken, who made ‘A Question of Faith’ and who used to be an audit and tax technician explained;
“This project has helped me in so many ways. I’ve really enjoyed every minute and I’m eager to see our films on ‘the big screen’.
“I’ve had a number of difficulties and set backs in my life recently - this has helped me develop a lot of confidence. I’m also very proud of my film. Of course, if I did it again I’d probably do things differently – I discarded this idea to begin with, I was anxious it would be provocative – but instead I hope I’ve succeeded in creating a piece of work which is thought provoking.”
Emily Barber described the group’s work;
“I’ve been very conscious of helping each one to find their way to express their massive life experiences; they’ve all ‘lived a lot’.
“Enabling people to make effective documentaries is not just about how to set up a tripod and carry out an interview – its much richer and deeper, its about understanding what their audience might expect – and then setting out to surprise them.
“In my opinion the six films are exceptional and to a large degree reflect what I believe is a great tradition of character-building and story-telling here in the North East. Everyone who has taken part has been incredibly motivated and enthusiastic. I’ve loved it.”
As a result of the project the group is exploring how to establish its own film club and film Production Company and four of the group have committed to becoming involved with the Northern Lights Film Festival in Newcastle in March.
Neil Baird, Head of Service for Newcastle at The Cyrenians said:
“This has been an extremely effective project between all the partners; Helix Arts is to be congratulated for their innovative and flexible approach. Not only have the people taking part benefitted but also those who have worked alongside them from both Crisis and The Cyrenians; they too have learned and have enjoyed seeing their clients make tremendous progress.”