In day 3 of our Youth Work Week 2018 blog series, youth organisation IntoFilm discuss their approach to engaging young people through film clubs and empowering them to plan and lead projects through youth work.
Engaging with young people can be a challenge for youth workers and educators alike. Whether in the classroom or part of extra-curricular activities, there’s a real need for diverse ways of learning and engaging with young people. Film education charity, Into Film, does just that. Into Film puts film at the heart of children and young people’s educational, cultural and personal development through its broad programme of Into Film Clubs, Resources, Training, and much more.
Running a youth led film club
Into Film Clubs is a great way for youth clubs to engage with young people, build a community and encourage peer-to-peer opportunities and support. One youth club paving the way is Warrington Youth Film Club who have been inspiring young people to become leaders and create their own unique film experience. Zac and Kyle are exemplars of how giving young people the reins to build their own projects really works. They run all aspects of the film club, ensuring all ideas from their peers are taken on board; be it the choice of film, setting for the screening and beyond. This helps everyone to feel involved, and the film club has quickly become more than just a space for young people alike to enjoy watching a film together; it is more profoundly a safe environment where they feel comfortable being open and exploring more complex issues in their experience of growing up and dealing with life around them.
“Zak has a dual diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD and was being home-schooled when he joined the youth club. During our meeting it was clear to see that Zak had a huge passion for all things related to film and cinema, so I suggested Zak supported me with film club. Naturally this was a considerable challenge, but to his credit Zak decided to give it a go, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Nuvvy, youth leader, Warrington Youth Film Club
Champion young people to take the reins
Within a very short space of time, Zak gained confidence, became happier and most importantly, returned to full-time education. Warrington Youth Film Club has gone from strength to strength ever since, moving from a monthly screening to a fortnightly one due to high demand! In early 2015, Zak asked one of his oldest friends, Kyle to join the project. With Kyle sharing a similar interest in film to Zak and having a very sharp sense of humour to boot, this was a no brainer for the film club. Zak and Kyle have taken the project to a new level, opening film club nights up to local families and engaging the whole community.
“I grew more interested and began running the film club for my friends, which has given me a real sense of purpose in life. I run it with my best friend Kyle – we screen films supplied by Into Film and hold themed events such as Christmas and Halloween nights. Everyone is welcome – we are like one big family.”
Zak, young person, film club leader
Zak and Kyle have truly become role models for their peers. Their hard work has developed a supportive network for young people and
a community who come together to enjoy spending time with each other.
“In an ideal world, all young people should have a level playing field to access opportunities… but the reality is that this is rarely the case. However, I firmly believe that our film club does this. And the support from Into Film of one-to-one support, range of resources and films available, together with the ongoing opportunities they provide has been instrumental to our success.”
Nuvvy, youth leader
“Being a part of Into Film has changed my life for the greater good and I will treasure every moment to come. I feel confident now talking to people in social situations and sharing my opinions. My self-esteem has greatly increased; I am a much more active person and feel I am more accepted into society. Knowing I make people smile and people rely on me gives me a warm feeling inside.”
Zak, young person, film club leader
Start your Into Film Club
Into Film Clubs are free for state-funded schools and non-school settings, such as youth clubs and libraries. Why not start a free Into Film Club today and you’ll get access to our catalogue of over 3,000 films, enrichment focussed resources, priority booking for free screenings and events including the Into Film Festival – the largest youth film festival in the world!
Find out more about Into Film: https://www.intofilm.org