Real Tees Valley YouTube playlist made up of 25 films from the Real Tees Valley Film Trail. In the order they were shared on social media.
A stop motion film of the Hillstreet Takeover at the #brilliantlyboro #creativefactory space in the Hillstreet Centre, Middlesbrough.
I’ve been volunteering with Tees Valley Arts on their Real Tees Valley project, where I’ve been engaging with members of the public and encouraging them to take time out of their day to watch the films made by young people.
The films deal with major issues such as transitioning, mental health issues, fleeing a war zone and just about being young in Teesside. What makes the films so unique is that you hear their voices, rather than how other people might misconceive them, their feelings laid bare.
“Sadie” is, for me, the moving film, having gone through darkness myself. For her to be so open about it takes so much courage and with so many people taking their own lives we need to be more open about the challenges people face.
Following a family bereavement, 14-year-old Alisha turned her life around and embarked on a journey to become a youth worker, determined to impact on the lives of young people just like her, living in Stockton. Through the Corner House project, she was able to rethink what her future might be and see positivity, where she was previously wondering where to turn.
At age 17, Mohammed captured his own footage of his journey from Damascus to Hartlepool using his smartphone. Now 21, his film highlights the effects of war and destruction on normal families. This ground-breaking film as a personal account of the dangers and horrors of war, the risks of escape and the community he became part of both as during his flight across Europe, and in this Teesside town he has made his home.
“Luke” tells the story of a young local boy and his transition from female to male. Through the film he talks about interactions with people and their responses after finding out he has transitioned.
Growing up in a small town means that things like this are not heard of as much, so it is great to learn more about it in the local area and see the positive outcome of this young boy’s situation. When mentioning the way in which people ask about the transition he states they are not trying to cause offence, but are just curious which helps to shine the local area in a positive and forward-thinking light.
Footage is shown of the scars received due to the surgery involved in the transition which shows the real physical dedication this boy has had in becoming what makes him happy. He also mentions the hormone treatment he has undertaken and the downsides involved with it, in particular getting spots.
Through the film, he is seen to be a happy, energetic person from footage of him dancing with friends and family, to the interview segments during which he cannot stop smiling.
It is brilliant to see stories like this come from Teesside showing the residents happy and content in the life they have chosen to lead.
A short film reflecting three years at University, a window into student life. 20-year-old Adam recreates the highlights of his three-year journey towards academic success in the North East of the UK. A life filled with friends, new experiences, heartbreaks and turmoil. Without a single word being spoken, we travel with Adam down a thoroughly human experience.
19-year-old Sadie from East Cleveland takes us along a journey from poor mental health through recovery, by documenting images of her travels and her music. After taking a downward spiral during her last year at sixth form college, she recounts how traveling on buses gave her the space to rethink her future and helped her decide to continue living and learning on Teesside.
18-year-old Ellie’s film explores the story of a young woman from North East England, who isn’t traditionally feminine and works in a quarry and is often ostracized because of her masculine hobbies. After being taunted at a bar, she decides to take action when she is challenged with an arm wrestle. She soon realizes that to win could be more trouble than it’s worth.
Young people from Stockton wanted to make a film about Corner House, a place that makes them feel safe and loved, with loads to do, through their words. They recall life before joining the group, the trouble they got into, and how the Corner House Youth Project really has made them turn a positive corner.