shmu’s youthTV WWII film airs at 50+ Festival

Film screening delights all ages

Over the Summer Break young people from the youthTV project joined a couple of past trainees from Positive Transitions to take part in a unique film project in conjunction with the Saint Fitticks Arts Festival.

The original brief was to interview local World War II veterans to capture their stories for future generations. shmu teamed up with the Gordon Highlanders Museum to connect with the veterans and the group also spoke to older people who were young children growing up in Aberdeen during WW2. The Gordon Highlanders also very kindly arranged an education session to give the group an introduction to the history of the Highlanders and the wars they fought in.

The interviews and filming all took place over a very hectic 2-3 week period in early August with editing taking place at the end of the month. The group were supported by tutors at shmu but did the majority of filming, directing and planning themselves. Due to the tight deadline, our resident editor here at shmu pulled it all together with a little help from a few members of the group.

All of this hard work was rewarded on the 10th September at the official screening at The Belmont Cinema, as part of the 50+ Festival. There were over 70 people in the audience including some of our young people and a few of the ‘stars’ – the veterans and older people who kindly agreed to be interviewed.

The audience was treated to a question and answer session after the screening, giving them the opportunity to ask the young people questions about their experience making the film. The group bravely stood up in front of the 70-strong crowd and answered questions confidently; in fact when asked what making the film meant to them, Danielle commented that it had really helped to boost her confidence.

The group also agreed that it gave them a much greater insight into the realities of war and of just how close to home it came. They found the subject matter all the more interesting hearing it from a local perspective. It also made them see and think of older people in a different light, now knowing some of the fascinating and sometimes harrowing stories behind them. It made them grateful to be living in a time of relative peace; knowing that the veterans were their age when they were conscripted.

We also had some lovely feedback from one of the veterans – Muriel, who was a WREN during WW2, was present at the screening and said that she enjoyed watching the interviews even more than she did being interviewed!

At the end of the Q&A a number of audience members came down to congratulate the young people on a job well done and to offer their services and stories for future projects. We could have stayed all day chatting!

As a final well done to the young people, the staff of The Belmont treated them to a soft drink in the café downstairs and gave them all a souvenir pack containing a ticket stub from the screening, a programme and two free cinema passes to return and see a film of their choice. This was totally unexpected and the group wish to pass on their sincere thanks.