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To coincide with Parliament Week, running from 14th - 20th Nov, Into Film Festival goers in London recently took part in a lively debate on democracy, centred around British hit Pride.
Young people from five colleges across the capital travelled to ODEON cinema Covent Garden for a screening of the feel-good British film. Based on the true story of the Welsh miners strike of the 1980s, and how it was supported by lesbian and gay activists from London, Pride's blend of humour with serious social issues made for an ideal film to get Into Film Festival goers enthused about democracy.
Following the screening, young people were then asked to feed through what they thought of the film's events in a discussion hosted by our partners Debate Mate. Chaired by Sian James MP, who is depicted in the film, and judged by Jonathan Blake, a key member of the lesbian and gay group represented in Pride, we asked our audience to debate the motion "This House believes that lesbian and gay groups should not have aligned themselves with the miner's movement."
The debate was lively, informative and entertaining, with students from Epping Forest College, Barnet and Southgate College, The Brooke House Sixth Form College, Willowfield Humanities College and New Horizon Youth Centre all feeding into the open discussion before voting against the motion.
What is great about [the debate event] is that, not only are young watching the film, but then they have time to be thinking about the film, and because of the debate they are of put in the position of having to make some decisions.Jonathan Blake, LSGM member
Speaking after the event, festival goers were were certainly enthused about our combining of film and debate to shine a light on such a interesting moment in recent history. Yan, a student who attended the event commented "I thought the Pride screening was great, it's a film that balances comedy and drama really well and handled social issues with respect. It was a fun debate to listen to and I was pleased with the outcome. "
Bridgette Emes, teacher at Barnet College also added, "I take young people to events like this because I want young people to understand more about politics and how the media represents people in politics . With an election coming up, this was a fantastic opportunity to get young people onto the election register and talking about politics."
In an effort to get more young people engaged with democracy, Into Film reporters recently ventured to The Houses of Parliament to talk to a number of MPs about how film can inspire young people.
Watch the video below to hear from Harriet Harman, Shadow Secretary of State; John Leech MP, Julie Hilling MP and more, including Into Film trustee Baroness Beeban Kidron, on how film can empower a new generation.