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.
“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.