BY LOUISE CONVERY
MAGHERAFELT schools are to take part in a groundbreaking film project launched by the International Fund for Ireland and Cinemagic.
The film project aimed at young people across Northern Ireland has been launched by Dr Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland and Joan Burney Keatings, Chief Executive of Cinemagic.
The Fund is providing £317K under its Sharing in Education Programme to the Reel Frontiers Project. It is the first time that a film project of this scale, involving 40 schools over a two-year period has been undertaken by Cinemagic.
Sperrin Integrated College, St Mary’s Grammar School, The Rainey Endowed, St Pius X College and Magherafelt High School are representing the NEELB in the project.
The film making project will bring together pupils from Nationalist and Unionist backgrounds to work together, learn about film making and production, share experiences and make new friends. The paired schools started meeting from September for a series of screenings, workshops and discussions.
Two young people aged 11-13 years from each class will then be selected to attend a week-long film camp in June 2012 and June 2013.
They will co produce four short films with 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.
Dr Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the 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.
“This project fits well with the Fund’s overriding objective of promoting peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland. This unique film making project will offer the opportunity for young people to work and learn together with their peers from across different communities and build friendships. These shared experiences help young people overcome fear and suspicion and create the building bocks for a more shared future.”
Chief Executive of Cinemagic Joan Burney Keatings commented: “With valued support from the International Fund for Ireland, Cinemagic is able to provide an excellent opportunity for young people from different cultural backgrounds to work together on a creative venture that will help develop in them an understanding of and respect for each other’s traditions and culture. 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.”
It is estimated that over the course of the two-year project 1,280 young people, their families, 40 teachers and members of the local communities will be involved. The participants from year one of the project will act as mentors for year two.