YOUNG people living in North Herefordshire will be screening and discussing this month, two powerful short-films they have produced, despite the limitations of social distancing during COVID-19 lockdown.
Working with young people and communities in remote rural areas is nothing new for Herefordshire’s leading film and digital arts company, Rural Media.
Setting out at the beginning of the year to help young people living in the Teme Valley area of North Herefordshire, produce short films about their lives started well.
Then, two unprecedented physical and public health challenges forced Rural Media’s outreach team to redesign the project.
In February, flooding prevented the team running workshops for young people.
Then, the coronavirus lockdown prevented young people from even meeting with each other.
Rural Media’s Creative Director, Grant Black said: “The lockdown made it even more important for young people to have the chance to take part in creative activity and to share their experiences of living in one of the most sparsely populated areas of the country.
“Innovative use of digital technology, including remote scriptwriting workshops, self-shooting and directing via Zoom, and the use of archive material all enabled project participants to produce two powerful short dramas Interface and The Followers.
“We’ve learnt so much during these challenging months about innovative uses of technology and working remotely to involve those young people, that often have little access to creative expression and cultural production. We’ll be taking this learning into our future working practice with rural communities.”
Philippa Spens, CEO of Herefordshire Community Foundation, where the Teme Valley Fund is held, said: “Each film raises issues of critical and contemporary importance for teenagers growing up in the countryside including; online safety, mental health, relationships, transport, and family tensions.”
“I am looking forward to discussing this project and the themes and issues that it raises with colleagues that work with and support young people across Herefordshire.”
Three specially designed dissemination events are planned for the forthcoming weeks.
Learn more about the project at ruralmedia.co.uk/TVYP