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In 2016, through our See It, Make It programme, we have supported a number of participatory filmmaking projects for young people aged 7 - 19 that have had a strong focus on championing diversity, removing barriers to engagement and showcasing youth voices from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds.
Go Forward was made by Winding Snake Productions and young people from Child and Family Services of Swansea, supporting 15 young people aged 12 to 19 who are in care.
In the film, three young people navigate their way through a complex video game-like world. Go Forward is a triptych written and animated by looked after children, highlighting the basic ups and downs of their journey to adulthood.
Below, Amy Morris, Managing Director at Winding Snake, discusses how working on the project helped the young people involved improve their confidence and gain the chance to have their voices be heard.
By using filmmaking and animation the group felt as if their voices had been heard.Amy Morris, Managing Director at Winding Snake
The group that we worked with were incredibly enthusiastic from the very beginning. None of the young people had ever met a filmmaker or made a film before. Each participant responded very positively to the workshop warm-up activity (to animate their name) and despite not owning tablet technology, they were very competent users of the equipment. After the warm up at the start of each session, the group began learning about and watching animated shorts. Most of the group were familiar with animated serials like The Simpsons or Family Guy, but none of the group had seen Simon's Cat series, or films by PES which they all really enjoyed.
The film project in its entirety was a positive experience for the individual participants, as there were different elements of the filmmaking process that appealed to different personalities. Cerys, 16 from Swansea, is an introvert who wasn't comfortable within a group setting. She sat at the side, hidden by a pillar at each session, but was happy to work by herself to create backgrounds and to develop the idea for the story. At the end of the second day, Cerys even felt confident enough to communicate her ideas to the rest of the group.
Tom, 11 from Swansea, was very excited to be involved. He didn't like the idea of writing anything but was happy to be interviewed by the other participants so that his thoughts could be adapted for the script. We were also able to return to interview some of the group after the sessions had finished, and overall the feedback was positive.
By using filmmaking and animation the group felt as if their voices had been heard. Some of the participants appeared to become more self confident during the sessions, and other took very well to the techniques such as scriptwriting, animation and character development.
Find out about our inspirational Diversity & Outreach filmmaking program, and watch some of the fantastic films that were created by the young people involved.
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