Passions of Youth Awards Night: Film Premiere, Celebration and Reception
23rd November 2015 at FC United of Manchester, Broadhurst Park, 310 Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester
The Film Premiere, Celebration and Reception for the Passions of Youth project took place on the 23rd November 2015 at FC United, Moston, Manchester.
The event was introduced by Sue Reddish, the project’s Creative Director, who welcomed an audience of nearly 100 guests to the screening of two films made by young footballers from FC United, To Be Continued, and by boxers at Collyhurst and Moston Lads’ Club, A 100 Years and Still Fighting.
Sue explained how the ambitious year-long project had involved the arts team working alongside the young men, their coaches, archivists, youth workers, historians and staff at Manchester Metropolitan University. The aim was to work with groups of young men who shared a leisure passion, be that football, boxing, basketball, music or fishing – and encourage them to reflect on the wider benefits of pursuing these interests.
The Passions project also wanted to explore whether these were similar or different to what other young men from previous generations experienced, so the young men also interviewed older people and researched archives, using history as a tool to understand the present. It was, as she described, a very ambitious project, but one which in many ways surpassed the team’s aspirations.
The young men learned new skills in all aspects of film making and performance – they had to research, devise, write, perform, record their work and communicate their ideas clearly, skills that along with those they learned pursuing their hobby should stand them in good stead in the future.
Sue pointed out that while not everyone can be a champion boxer, professional footballer or film maker, everyone on the project was able to have a go, to develop their confidence, learn new things about themselves and see what the support of others could offer – valuable skills that she hoped they would take into future employment, study or their leisure pursuits.
Sue also explained how the learning had not been just one way. She had found out about basketball strategy, stood ringside at her first pro-boxing match, and been told in no uncertain terms that it was time she watched ‘Rocky’ a film which, until then, had completely passed her by!
Jim Dalziel, the community film-maker, found out more about football – fact and fiction – and now regularly regaled anyone who would listen about the ‘curse of Man City’!
Most importantly, what everyone observed was these young men learning about themselves and what they could achieve when they put their minds to it. Both the Boxers and the Footballers brought their enthusiasm, skills, humour and commitment to the Passions project, to make films they should be proud of.