Diversity and Outreach: Proud

16 Dec 2016 in Diversity and Outreach

5 mins
Diversity and Outreach: Proud

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.

Proud was made by young people from Liverpool aged 16 - 18 who identify as LGBT+, with assistance from FACTThinking Film and GYRO - the oldest LGBT+ youth group in the UK.

The film explores what it's like to be LGBT+ in today's society, and features young people sharing what makes them proud and explaining the impact GYRO has had on their lives.

Below, Jakub Jezierski, Project Assistant at FACT, discusses how working on the project helped the young people involved improve their confidence, share their identities, experiences and opinions, and have their voices be heard.

It was great to see the young person not only involve themselves in workshops, often taking a lead role within their group, but choosing to be involved in the film itself, sharing the experiences and identity.

Jakub Jezierski

Working with professional filmmakers had a great impact on the young people. The project allowed them to realise their vision, in terms of production value and the aesthetic of the film, but also in terms of creating a platform allowing them to share their identities, experiences and opinions with new audiences - something they don't get to communicate often outside of GYRO. Working with film professionals provided them with a reason to become involved, to share their identities, experiences and opinions, and help them understand the potential that film has.

Due to the nature of the group, the most important positive outcome was the increase in confidence. GYRO, being a mental support group, aims to provide a platform for the young people to feel safe and comfortable. Working on the film together helped them to open up and use film as a platform to connect with their peers. A lot of them engaged well throughout the project, despite the GYRO session working as a drop-in service. The group proved more open to talk about themselves and work together. 

One of the key successes of the project was the number of young people taking part. The original brief required ten young LGBT people to be involved, but in the end, there are almost twenty young people featured in the film, with some of them also attending a research session at FACT. This is a result of them not only being provided a platform, but also understanding the benefits that such a platform can offer them, such as increasing awareness and greater understanding around identity, and specifically LGBT+ identities. The group were conscious of their place in the community and are now open to having a film featuring them screened during Liverpool Pride, hoping to send a message to other young people in similar situations.

I had actually worked with a number of individuals from the group before. One young person had been involved in a project to increase communication skills. When I worked with them previously, they barely spoke, only answering direct questions with a 'yes' or 'no' - and with no eye contact. On this project, however, it was great to see them involve themselves in workshops, often taking a lead role within their group, and choosing to be involved in the film itself, sharing their own experiences and identity. It was fantastic to see how a person can change, and - again - I think this highlights the power of film in providing young people with an opportunity to speak out.

Young filmmakers involved in making 'Proud'

This Video is part of: Diversity and Outreach

See the results of our 2016 See It, Make It programme, in which our filmmaking projects focused on championing diversity and youth voice.

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