Teacher and activist Keith Heggart has been working with young people from McCarthy Catholic College to develop short films about issues of importance to the students and the local community. Working between February and June of this year, with more than 100 Year 9 students, for an hour every fortnight, Keith took the students through the processes of researching, storyboarding, shooting and editing films.
The resulting films were shown at the first annual Justice Citizens Film Festival, held at Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre, to a packed house of more than 50 people, including friends, family, community members and local councillors and politicians. Getting into the spirit of things, Federal MP, David Bradbury, recorded his own film introducing the evening.
Keith said, ‘I think that it is important we encourage young people to be active in their local community. Too often, we don’t listen to their concerns – or allow them to be part of a solution. That’s what this film festival is all about.’
The films that were shown on the evening (and now can be viewed on the groups Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/JusticeCitizens) covered a range of topics that participants had identified as being important, including racism, refugees, domestic violence, water pollution and much more.
The students were assisted by local journalist, Bernie Burke, as well as some funding from the RSA A+NZ Chapter. Keith plans to work with more local schools in the next year to make the project even bigger than it currently is! Stay tuned to hear more about the 2nd Justice Citizens Film Festival.