Tyneside Cinema and intu present the premiere four documentaries

Northern Stars Documentary Academy, students at the launch take part in a Q&A session
Northern Stars Documentary Academy, students at the launch take part in a Q&A session

Young filmmakers from the North East enjoyed a red carpet premiere of documentary films they made in association with Tyneside Cinema and intu.

A gala screening of four short documentaries made by young filmmakers at the Northern Stars Documentary Film Academy were enjoyed by participants, mentors, family and friends at Tyneside Cinema.

Over the autumn of 2015, 15 young people aged 15-19 from across the North East took part in the free programme of workshops at Tyneside Cinema, which gave participants the chance to work with leading industry professionals and gain hands-on experience of directing, producing and editing their own short documentaries.

This year Tyneside Cinema partnered with Freedom City 2017, a programme that marks the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr being awarded an honorary degree from Newcastle University, and aims to empower and inspire a new generation, stimulate academic debate and an create artistic response to the themes of his speech - war, poverty and racism.

The filmmakers were asked to respond to a challenge from Freedom City 2017 to use the themes as a starting point to create their work. The four resulting films include a portrait of a worker from SSI in Redcar who has lost her job, the experiences of a refugee from Liberia who has settled in the North East, and a volunteer whose personal experiences led her to work with disadvantaged communities in Newcastle.

Mark Dobson, Tyneside Cinema’s Chief Executive said: “The young filmmakers have worked exceptionally hard over the autumn to create four fantastic and inspiring short films, and we’re very proud to present their premiere at Tyneside Cinema. This is the third year of the Northern Stars Documentary Film Academy, and we’re incredibly grateful to intu for their ongoing support, which has and will continue to enable us to provide this free opportunity for even more young people in the North East to learn new skills.”

The Northern Stars Documentary Film Academy has been made possible by the support of Intu Properties plc, who co-own intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and intu Metrocentre in Gateshead. Their partnership with Tyneside Cinema began in 2012, when intu Eldon Square offered the Cinema an unprecedented opportunity to create a unique filmmaking facility in a shop unit on High Friars. The local success of Pop-Up Film School led intu to look at other partnership opportunities with the Cinema and the resulting development in 2013 of the Northern Stars Documentary Film Academy is now a key part of intu’s corporate responsibility strategy, focusing on support for young people in the North East.