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Over 65s filmmaking course launched at Leeds Beckett


The Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University is once again recruiting a team of over-65s in Yorkshire to take part in a filmmaking project starting in January 2016.

CINAGE 2015 filming

Following the success of the two-year CINAGE research project, funded by  Europe’s lifelong learning programme, Grundtvig, the Northern Film School is now looking for a new team to sign up to attend practical workshops on screenwriting, directing and editing, culminating in the production of a series of short films in June 2016. Using the latest technology available at the Northern Film School, the participants will work closely with students on Leeds Beckett’s Filmmaking degrees.

The original CINAGE project began in 2013 and brought together Leeds Beckett University with researchers in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia. The aim was to explore the EU’s recommendations for healthy, active ageing and to see whether or not the needs and concerns of older people are reflected in contemporary cinema.

CINAGE 2015 filming shot

CINAGE Project Leader, Jennifer Granville, explained: “We are absolutely delighted that the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University is consolidating the success of the 2015 CINAGE by offering a 2016 course.  This is a demonstration of Leeds Beckett's commitment to widening participation at every level of our community – and a fantastic opportunity for older people to experience the creative excitement of producing films that tell the stories that matter to them. The inter-generational connections between university students and older people,  coming together in a creative endeavour to make a piece of work that they can all be proud of, is a unique experience that we are proud to be pioneering here at the Northern Film School.”

Rowena Godfrey, a participant in the 2015 CINAGE project, said: “The CINAGE experience was a gift that just dropped into my life and has given me the most exciting opportunity of my retirement.”

The first series of CINAGE films premiered at the Bradford International City of Film Summit on Thursday 5 March this year, followed by a film festival to celebrate ageing which took part across Leeds from Friday 17-Saturday 18 July.  Another free screening of all of the films created in the project across the four countries is set to be shown as part of the Leeds International Film Festival on Saturday 14 November, from 1.30-3.30pm, at the Bramley Lawn Social Centre. There will also be the chance to hear from the participants about their experiences of making the films.

Jennifer added: “When we saw all 12 of the CINAGE films on the big screen at the premiere, it was quite a moving experience. It really felt like we’d done something quite special. I also find it amazing how so many different aspects of aging were addressed in quite a positive way. They weren’t all gloomy and grim by any means.

“I’m 61 and what I got out of this experience was that old age is not such a terrible thing; and also you have plenty of time to do things that are personally fulfilling, that you wouldn’t normally have the time to focus on. There’s so much that I learnt from the participants as well – all of them are such interesting individuals.

“When we made the films we used a lot of our students to support the older learners. Both groups were able to see how competent and good at their jobs the others were and how much they had to offer. A lot of my students said to me afterwards that this was one of the best projects they had done since they’d been in film school – they absolutely loved it.”

Subsidies and bursaries are available for 2016 CINAGE course places. For information on the course and how to apply, please email D.P.Turner@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or write to Dave Turner, Leeds Beckett University, Electric Press, 1 Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 3AD.

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