'Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes' is December's Film of the Month

06 Feb 2017 in Film of the Month

4 mins
'Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes' is December's Film of the Month

We're delighted to announce that our Film of the Month winner for December 2016 is Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes, a film made by eleven young people from The Hollins Technology College, Accrington, under supervision of film company Sealfilms.

A stirring spoken word film, Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes features a group of young men rejecting the words that have been used to label them. Resisting being shaped by how others may perceive them, these boys take it upon themselves to embrace all aspects of who they are without fear of judgement.

An inspirational story, beautifully filmed with a powerful and engaging message.

Film of the Month Judge on 'Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes'

We caught up with Waqar Ahmed, film club leader at The Hollins, to find out more about the production process and message behind his club's winning entry.

Initially the students were very apprehensive about sharing intimate and personal things about themselves on camera. However, they soon realised that the content that they were creating had the potential for making a real difference and inspiring other young people.

Through their short film they particularly wanted to encourage young men to feel confident enough to express how they feel, and to ignore the stigma surrounding men talking about their feelings, thoughts and aspirations. The collective want to get young people and adults to think beyond the label.

The students really enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and learn about the technical aspect of filmmaking. They gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the whole filmmaking process from pre-production to post production. Additionally, being responsible for putting together such a powerful film - which has been positively received by audiences - has seen an improvement in students' self-esteem and confidence.

At the Hollins we believe film is a powerful and effective tool to engage students of all backgrounds. Therefore, over the last few years, our students have been involved in a number of film projects and created a variety of short films, ranging from dance videos and documentaries to films about zombies.

One of the key reasons why our students were inspired to start making films is the fact that they were given the platform to use film as vehicle to express their thought and feelings. Winning the competition has been both motivational and humbling. The Beyond Labels Collective invested a considerable amount of time and hard work to ensure that they were able to produce some powerful content which had a strong message. In some ways, winning the competition is confirmation that the boys achieved what they set out to do. It also gives us the confidence to continue to produce film content that inspires, motivates and empowers.

At the moment we are looking at the possibility of producing a film about the importance of supporting the most vulnerable in our communities, and how we can motivate young people to make a difference.

Don't let anything hold you back. If you have an idea, and you believe in it, then just go for it.

Beyond Labels Collective, Film of the Month winners

Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, and the winning filmmakers have also secured a £100 Amazon voucher plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help further develop their future films. If you've been inspired by December's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you liked Beyond Labels: In Young Men's Shoes, why not try these related films:

  • ParaNorman (2012, PG, Suitable for 7+) Norman is treated by others as weird because he speaks to ghosts, though few believe in his supernatural abilities. However, Norman's understanding of what it means to be excluded puts him in a unique position to help when the town comes under threat.
  • The Goonies (1985, 12, Suitable for 11+) A gang of young misfits embrace their different qualities, labelling themselves with tongue-in-cheek nicknames, and use one another's skills to try and discover the whereabouts of hidden riches they hope will prevent them being separated.
  • Dead Poets Society (1989, PG, Suitable for 11+) An inspirational teacher challenges a group of precocious young boys to reject conformity and be inspired by the poetry of the rebels of the past to shape their own identities.
  • Sonita (2015, PG, Suitable for 14+) Teenage refugee Sonita's upfront self-expression and lyrics cause her to be condemned by society for daring to speak out as a young woman. Rather than allow her speech to be suppressed, Sonita tries to find an audience for her defiant rapping.

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