Buxton International Festival demonstrated how it helps to kick-start young people’s creativity with the premiere of a film on football written, acted and filmed by schoolchildren.
“A Life of Two Halves”, produced by local young people as part of the Festival’s Creative Learning Programme, was shown at a gala event in the Pavilion Arts Centre Studio.
The short film featured a boy who finds a goal in life through football, and was produced in just four Saturday afternoons at Buxton Community School.
“To do that in four weekends could not have been achieved without their total commitment,” said Mark Turton, of Metro Media, who guided the team of six through the project.
The film was just one part of the Festival’s Creative Learning Programme, which includes a poetry competition and the popular Kaleidoscope Choir which is open to all.
“The starting point is that we believe creativity is nothing special,” Festival Executive Director Randall Shannon told the audience.
“Every child is a creative animal – they know how to play with their imagination but as they go through formal education the creativity is knocked out of them so that as adults we feel that creativity is only for a few people.”
Film had been the first choice of young people when the Festival held workshops to see what kind of arts project they would be interested in. Suggested topics ranged from horror to a round-the-world crisp-eating challenge, but football won the day.
Team member Leo Parker, from Buxton, said he would like to make another film, and had enjoyed the team work: “Because there weren’t many of us, we had a lot to do, and we were all busy.”
Asked what he had learned about making a film, Paul Cartledge, of Buxton, summed up what producers from Hollywood to Bollywood have discovered: “We realised they have a budget!”
In the audience at the premiere were those involved in the project and local supporters, who also saw a documentary on how they had completed the creative process.
The Festival thanked Derbyshire Youth Inc., The Bingham Trust and The Gibbs Trust for backing the project, as well as other supporters of the Buxton Festival Creative Learning Programme.