Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TEENAGERS TACKLE TOUGH ISSUES; Film Looks into Violence and Exploitation

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

TEENAGERS TACKLE TOUGH ISSUES; Film Looks into Violence and Exploitation

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDSEY MUSSETT

DOMESTIC violence, being sexually exploited by an older "boyfriend" and trafficking are among the issues explored in a new short film made by teenagers in Middlesbrough.

Innocence and a second film, No Honour, No Choice -about sexuality and honour killing -were last night premiered at ARC in Stockton.

The films were made for and with Barnardo's Sexually Exploited Children on the Streets (SECOS) project in Middlesbrough, with the help of local film-makers Ronak Singh and Garry Moore.

Last night, the cast of Innocence were waiting nervously to see the final edit of the film.

One of the stars of the film, Anna Leng, from Guisborough, admitted that making the film had really touched the cast.

The 14-year-old said: "When we were doing one of the bits it was my parents shouting and I got a bit emotional imagining what it must be like for some people."

Two other cast members, Ashley Rae, 21, and Harriet Perkins, 19, said they enjoyed making the film and were now hoping it may help those suffering to speak out.

Harriet, from Stokesley, said: "It was interesting doing it and I enjoyed being involved because it was for a good cause."

Ashley, a Barnardo's peer mentor from Middlesbrough, added: "Working with young people in these kind of situations is quite traumatic and hopefully this film will help."

Wendy Shepherd, manager of SECOS and the Barnardo's North East lead on sexual exploitation, organised the making of the films.

Youngsters helped to write the script for Innocence, helped with filming and camera work, editing and even writing and singing the song featured in the film.

Wendy said: "With the help of Northern Film and Media, young people who were interested took part in courses on film-making skills and scriptwriting.

"Ronak Singh was making another film at the time called Bride and Gloom and he asked the young people on to the set to show them what film-making was all about. …

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