Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teenage Film Has a Strong Message

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teenage Film Has a Strong Message

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

It has a storyline worthy of any TV soap.

But the latest hard-hitting drama about life on the street was shot by a group of inner-city teenagers from Tyneside.

The production contains a powerful message about the social issues faced by youngsters today, including coping with drugs and bringing up children alone.

Chantelle Carney, 15, a pupil at Walker Technology College, said: "I think everyone who watches this DVD will be able to identify with something in it, and hopefully it'll encourage people to talk about things which can affect them, such as drugs or becoming a single parent."

The film will get its premiere at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema on Saturday before the message is taken to the Continent by the teenagers from the Renwick Street Youth Group in Monkchester, Newcastle, who have forged links with the Czech Republic.

The film has been hailed as an example for others to follow by leaders of the Newcastle-Gateshead European Capital of Culture 2008 bid.

Paul Collard of the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative said: "The bid is all about encouraging local people to raise their aspirations and make a real difference within their communities. These young people are the generation who'll benefit most from winning the title."

The 24 youngsters turned scriptwriters, actors and music advisers to produce a snapshot of the problems faced by any young person living in a modern city.

Ross McMullen, a 16-year-old pupil at Walker Technology College, said: "It's been a bit of a roller-coaster and I don't think any of us imagined what it would involve."

The group has already produced an acclaimed drugs information book and a smaller-scale video which is currently being used in youth groups across Newcastle.

"It's been hard work, but it's been a great experience," Ross added.

Members of the group say the DVD, comprising four mini-dramas, is a combination of everyone's experiences of growing up and watching and listening to the world around them. …

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