Students to launch safety films with West Yorkshire Police
The four short films - which will be officially launched at 1pm on Tuesday 26 March in room 209 at the Electric Press based at Leeds Met's City Centre campus - have been written, directed and produced by the first year BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production students and are intended to highlight ways to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crimes including theft, burglary and robbery.
Student Jim Weir, aged 33, who acted in one of the films and was responsible for shooting another, said the opportunity arose as part of the University's Employability and Enterprise Fortnight (EEF) in January.
"During one of the student workshops we were given the chance to get involved with this project on behalf of West Yorkshire Police. They wanted us to create a set of short films which would raise safety awareness throughout the city's student community. Originally the intention was to do two films, but we had so many ideas and there were a number of safety messages that we wanted to get across so we decided to do four.
"Safety is paramount for all of us and to be able to put the skills we have learnt as student filmmakers here at Leeds Met to practice to assist not just the police, but to be of benefit to our friends and peers has been absolutely fantastic."
The films - all of which are no more than two minutes in length - will be screened in and around both campuses at Leeds Metropolitan University as well as at the University of Leeds. In addition following Tuesday's launch they can be viewed online at www.knowledge-leeds.co.uk as well as on a dedicated YouTube channel.
Laura Taylor, Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Film and Moving Image Production degree, commented: "We launched the project at EEF in response to Mark Bottomley, Leeds Met's Safer Student police officer, approaching us and asking if the students would want to have an input into making these films. It was a brilliant opportunity for our first years, and the group-of-six students jumped at the chance.
"The films they have produced are of an exceptionally high standard and professional filmmaking quality and really are a testament to the excellent opportunities available to the students here at Leeds Met. The group had some hard-hitting ideas about personal safety for women - and with each film the students have been able to see the brief through from scratch from the writing to the acting to the directing. Each film has a strong message that resonates throughout."
Inspector Ian O'Brien, who heads the Hyde Park and Woodhouse Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: "Students can sometimes be a hard audience for us to reach with crime prevention messages and we know they are far more likely to take messages on board if they come from their peers in a format that they find interesting and relevant.
"The films the students have produced for this project will play a valuable role in informing their fellow students about how to avoid becoming victims of crime while also giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents to a wider audience. We are very grateful to them for the time and effort they have put into the project."