Health and Wellbeing

Young Devon film makers shortlisted for award

Posted on: 18 March 2013

Young people from Devon will be heading to London this week to find out if their film has won the best drama category at the British Film Institute’s First Light Awards.

The Woodland’, the short film made by young people from Newton Abbot and Dartington, follows a young girl who wanders into woodland alone. Following the sounds of voices she falls into a hole, momentarily becoming the size of a beetle, while learning about the woodland and herself from this new perspective. 

Two young people will be going to Leicester Square to the award ceremony on Tuesday 19 March, where their film is up against three others in the best drama category.

Blind Ditch developed the project with Broadhempston Community Woodland and Devon County Council’s Integration Support Services. The film provided young people with the opportunity to learn a range of skills at the same time as exploring the woodland and their responses to it. 

Ten workshops were held with the young people, including visits to the woodland, to develop story ideas, experiment with the cameras, taking audio recordings and producing animation.  A two day film shoot took place on location in Broadhempston, with further workshops in editing, sound design and animation before the project was complete.

Devon County Councillor Stuart Barker, who is responsible for youth services said: “This fantastic project has enabled a number of young people, who may be having difficulties at home or school, to contribute to a worthwhile project, whilst also learning new skills.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

Cat Radford from Blind Ditch said: “We are delighted that a nomination for this award includes invitation to a ceremony at the famous Leicester Square Odeon, where the benefits of creative projects such as these are celebrated.  

“In making ‘The Woodland’  the young people have been able to think very creatively about solutions to complex scenarios in their own lives by creating metaphors in magical ones.  Recognition for this work, particularly at such a prestigious event, offers a truly memorable and life affirming experience for all involved.”

Devon County Council’s Integration Support Services help young people in aspects of their lives they may be having difficulty with, such as home, school and employment.  This is achieved via a personal programme designed to meet the needs of the individual young person.  The film project was an opportunity for young people to learn skills that could contribute  towards their ongoing National Open College Network qualifications.

The project was funded by the lottery through British Film Institute’s First Light initiative, by Josie Sutcliffe and with support from Broadhempston Community Woodland and Devon County Council.  

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