* Please note – The article below was released prior to South Sefton Development Trust changing its name to Regenerus
An innovative new training programme which helps unemployed young people on Merseyside to explore the potential of a career in the film and TV industry has honoured its first graduates.
A celebration event was held to mark the achievements of the 16-24 year olds on the inaugural Media on the Mersey course, organised by Liverpool Film Academy Educational Trust and South Sefton Development Trust.
The event also featured the premiere of The Last Straw, a short film produced by the students which commented on the state of the job market today.
Liverpool Film Academy is the training arm of Merseyside production company LA Productions, creators of the hit BBC drama Moving On.
VIP guests at the screening included the organisation’s founder, producer Colin McKeown, and well-known Merseyside actress Gillian Kearney, star of hit TV series including Casualty, Shameless and Brookside.
Gillian praised the students for the quality of their film, and said she wished that courses such as Media on the Mersey had been available when she was starting out in the industry.
Funded with the help of the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme, the 8-day course covered everything from scriptwriting to post production.
The aim was to give students a thorough understanding of the process of making a film, and a practical set of skills allowing entry level access to employment in the film industry.
As well as focusing on these practical abilities, the course also helped participants to develop their self-confidence and team working skills, and each student also received one-to-one support with planning their next steps.
South Sefton Development Trust Chief Executive, Cate Murphy, commented: “We are delighted that this pilot has worked out so well. The students have really benefited from working with professionals who have been generous with sharing their knowledge.
“In addition, the film they have put together in just a few weeks demonstrates their creativity, hard work and determination.”
Colin McKeown added: “I would like to congratulate the students, not just on the film but also on their positive attitude and determination to make the most of this exciting opportunity.
“As a filmmaker based in Liverpool, it is very encouraging to see so much talent coming through in this area,” added Mr McKeown.