YEAR two of a ground breaking film project aimed at young people aged 11-13 continued at St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt on Friday, February 1st.
The project is run by Cinemagic and the International Fund for Ireland.
The ‘Reel Frontiers’ project is part of the Fund’s Sharing in Education Programme and it is the first time that a film project of this scale, involving 42 school groups over a two-year period, has been undertaken by Cinemagic.
The film making project, which began in Sept 2011, has brought together pupils from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds to work together, learn about film making and production, share experiences and make new friends.
St Mary’s Grammar School hosted pupils from Magherafelt High School, St Pius X College, Rainey Endowed School, and Sperrin Integrated College and the Cinemagic programme of activity included a drama workshop and a screening of the film Bend It Like Beckham.
The schools involved have been working in partnership with each other throughout the past two academic years.
In June 2012, students involved in the project last year attended a residential film camp during which the first short films of the project were created.
During the event in St. Mary’s, the two films created by pupils from the Magherafelt Learning Partnership – Aftermath and Child’s Play - were screened.
David Graham OBE, Board Member, International Fund for Ireland, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Cinemagic through the Reel Frontiers Project. Cinemagic have been working tirelessly over the years bringing together young people from Nationalist and Unionist backgrounds for masterclasses, screenings and workshops in film making.
“Creative projects such as this enrich community relations and support the Fund’s objectives of peace-building particularly those of our Sharing in Education Programme.
“Reel Frontiers will encourage young people to work and learn together with their peers from different communities and build friendships. These experiences help young people overcome fear and suspicion and create the building blocks for a more shared future.”
Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive, commented: “With valued support from the International Fund for Ireland, Cinemagic has been able to provide an excellent opportunity for young people from different cultural backgrounds to work together on a creative venture that will help develop an understanding of and respect for each other’s traditions and background.
“The young people involved to date have demonstrated excellent teamwork skills through participation in the first phase of the project and the production of the films was a great achievement.
“Through their film-making they will also be able to demonstrate their learning and promote the values of peace and reconciliation to a wider audience.”
The second phase of the project has just begun with young people meeting on a regular basis to watch a series of themed film screenings and participate in workshops and discussions. Young people from the previous year’s project have been involved in mentoring the new groups, giving them an insight to their experience.
The 2012-13 phase will culminate with five film camps taking place throughout June and July 2013, which will engage with all of the school communities and encourage the young people to work together on a shared goal.
The co-produced films made at the film camps have the ultimate aim of promoting understanding between the different communities and traditions in Northern Ireland. The films will be set in a Northern Ireland context and will deal with issues such as division, conflict and the challenges the young people encounter on a daily basis in their respective neighbourhoods.