A short film made by a group of young people in care, has won an award for Best Documentary in the 15-18 age group at the 7th British Film Institute (BFI) Future Film Festival. The film, called Finding My Way, was made as part of an ongoing research project involving Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CLAHRC (CLAHRC CP). The project has enabled young people in care, and care leavers, to make films describing their experiences of being in, and leaving, care. There were over 400 entries in the BFI competition and the top three were screened at the award ceremony at the BFI Southbank on Friday 21st February.
The films were judged by a panel of film makers and the award given to Finding My Way.
Young people involved in the research collaboration between CLAHRC CP and CCC have also made two other short films which are available on YouTube.
The research project, called Transfer of Care at 17, set out to identify factors which may influence successful transitions from adolescence to adulthood in two vulnerable groups of young people; and to understand the ways in which services may need to change in order to improve outcomes for young people with mental health needs. Working with the young people in care led the researchers to devise and pilot a training module for foster carers, a core component of which is the short animated film, My name is Joe. The making of the film proved to be a very positive experience for all involved and a way of engaging young people through the use of animation.
This film gives some background to the four day summer school which was held for the group of 11 young people, during which time they learned new practical skills (animation, drawing, camera work, editing, sound recording), social skills (team work, collaboration, developing and sharing ideas) and had a glimpse of university life – an opportunity all too rarely open to young people in care. More information on engaging young people through animation can be found on the CLAHRC CP website.
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK and since 2011 has combined a creative, cultural and industrial role as a Government arm’s length body and distributor of National Lottery funds. Its key priorities are to support a vibrant UK film culture by investing in film education, audience access, filmmaking and film heritage.