Alum Rock Youth Project in Birmingham has joined forces with award winning director David Richardson to create a short film that will be screened at the Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester. Richardson, acclaimed for his work on Shameless, Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Grange Hill, has mentored twenty young people from the Alum Rock Youth Project aged between eight and nineteen years old to produce “2 Faced Fees”, a drama about a young man’s journey to University via stress, debt and controlling parents.
The partnership between David Richardson and Alum Rock Youth Project has been facilitated by BoldFace Productions, part of an award winning TV and Radio company CTVC, and funded by First Light, a British Film Institute initiative supported by the National Lottery. Youth groups in Blackpool and St Annes have also taken part.
Each of the 3 minute dramas have been written, produced and directed by the young people themselves, with Richardson working closely with the young people to coach them on all aspects of filmaking. He commented: “It’s a little scary how quickly they have picked things up. I’m truly impressed with the commitment, passion, enthusiasm and imagination that the young people have put into their film project. There is a ‘film-maker’ in all of us; sometimes it’s just a matter of teaching the skills required to express that”.
Alum Rock Youth Project’s film “2 Faced Fees” tells the story of Steve who is just about to start at the fictional Alum Rock University. He is excited about his future, but as he learns that student fees are rising, he begins to worry. Will he be able to handle the stress that the huge debt will bring?
One of the young people who took part is Ali Zaheer from Alum Rock, who worked as a Director on the production. Ali commented: “Working with David on this project has been amazing, especially when he’s worked on so many big productions. It’s been so cool to see how films are put together and how much work goes into it. And who knows... maybe I’ll go on to work on Eastenders too!”
The films will be screened on March 3rd at the Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester, with David Richardson and other film and TV industry experts in attendance. They will also be screened later on in the year at the prestigious British Film Institute in London, as well as being distributed UK wide to youth groups and organisations who are dealing with the issues of bullying and caring.