Young Edinburgh filmmakers inspired by Xpress Yourself project impress Justice Secretary

Published: 13 Feb 2014

Young people from Edinburgh were joined today (Monday 18 February) by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill, as they edited films they have made on a project run by Screen Education Edinburgh and supported by Creative Scotland’s CashBack for Creativity programme.

50 young filmmakers aged 12 – 19 have been learning the technical aspects of filmmaking and shooting a number of short films as part of the Xpress Yourself project.

Four groups - from the Hearts Filmmaking Group, Hibs Filmmaking Group, Wellington School and The Broomhouse Centre - have been meeting weekly since autumn 2012 to devise, plan and shoot short films. The filming has been completed and seven films are now in editing stage.

CashBack for Creativity re-invests the monies seized from criminals back into cultural activities for young people across Scotland. The programme is supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Initiative.

Script and directing tutor, Graham Fitzpatrick; producer and mentor Sarah Drummond and technical tutor Steven Abercromby-Cook from Screen Education Edinburgh worked with the young filmmakers to help them bring their ideas to the screen.

The films include:

Memories - a drama involving a writer having to come to terms with his past before he can put pen back to paper.

The Man With No Name - a modern day western where a boy takes inspiration from his screen hero to face up to his tormentors with disastrous results.

Six Steps Away - a romantic drama about a girl who pursues love in order to conquer her fear of the number six.

The Killing Moon - a melancholic tale of a boy on the edge of reality who is deeply obsessed with Yeats and the moon.

Fate - a music video romance that sees an unfortunate couple coming together after being stood up by their respective dates at the cinema.

The films will be showcased at the end of April with a special screening being held at the Filmhouse cinema

Participant, Louis Clark, College Student said:

“The whole thing has been amazing. The course has been the best filmmaking experience I have had. The teaching is of such a high standard that I now feel confident that I can pursue this as a career and have the skills and knowledge to back it up.”

David McDonald, Youth Arts Manager at Creative Scotland said:

“This project has given the young people taking part the opportunity to put their enthusiasm, fantastic imagination and willingness to learn into making these short films. They’re also picking up a wide range of practical filmmaking skills along the way, which will benefit them in the future. I can’t wait to see the finished films.”

  Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“Recycling cash from the proceeds of crime into arts and cultural activities gives our young people the chance to get creative and broaden their horizons. The Xpress Yourself project is an excellent opportunity for our young people to work on film and digital media projects with industry professionals and perhaps become Scotland’s next screen talent.

“The Creative Scotland project has been funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme which is helping more young people than ever before. Since 2007 a massive £50 million of cash seized from criminals has directly benefited over 600,000 young people and generated over 11,000 volunteers from different backgrounds who are now putting something back into their communities across Scotland.”

Graham Fitzpatrick, Screen Education Edinburgh’s Creative Manager said:

“As one of the foremost providers of film-making education for young people in Scotland, we have been delighted to educate and nurture the latest participants in our CashBack for Creativity Programme. Over the months the young people have been learning about all aspects of short film-making, from screenwriting to final edit, devising and shooting seven short films. Not only has their knowledge and skills been enhanced but their confidence and aspirations for the future have grown throughout. “