Young people in Fife are to be at the heart of a new 3-year £85,000 filmmaking project, supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

The project, titled ‘Through the Lens’, will be delivered by the Scottish human rights charity, Pink Saltire, and will focus on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people aged 13 to 21.

The charity will work in partnership with professionals from the creative industries around the country to deliver workshops which will upskill young people with an interest in film or documentary-making. They will then support the young people to produce an original short film about an issue which affects their own lives.

It’s hoped the project will give useful practical experience for those who want to progress a career in front of or behind the camera, but also reduce isolation amongst LGBT+ young people, who can be at risk of social isolation and poor mental health.

Charity Founder, Stuart Duffy, told us:

“We’re so excited to be launching a new project in Fife where things are really starting to change for LGBT people. We hope this project will offer an opportunity for some of our best creative minds around the Kingdom to link up with young people and empower them to create a film which throws light on issues which really affect them. We can’t wait to get started!”

Pink Saltire were formed in 2014 and have been delivering projects for the LGBT community all over Scotland for several years. A series of short documentaries commissioned in 2016 by the charity included a film for the TIE Campaign and a film about LGBT people living in more rural communities in Fife.

Funding for this project, totalling £88,000 across the 3 years, comes from the ‘Young Start’ programme, managed by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, who distribute cash from dormant bank accounts to good causes around the country.

Maureen McGinn, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland Committee said:

“Young Start empowers young Scots to pursue their hopes and aspirations while building skills and confidence for the future. I am delighted that young LGBT+ people from across Scotland will develop their digital media skills, using these to highlight issues that matter to them most through the Pink Saltire project.”

The project will help deliver new services for LGBT young people in Fife, where there has been a dramatic increase in activity since the charity moved into new offices in Kirkcaldy. The charity now operate a weekly social group in Cowdenbeath for LGBT people and supported the hugely successful launch of Fife Pride in the Kingdom. Welcoming the announcement of funding for the project, Cllr Julie Ford, Depute Provost for Fife said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Pink Saltire have been successfully awarded this funding from the Big Lottery. Pink Saltire have done so much to assist in promoting and providing equality for the LGBT+ community in Fife, and this new project is only going to push that even further forward.

“We unfortunately know that young people, in particular, can find it very difficult when coming out and telling people about their sexuality and/or gender identity. But we also know how important the expressive arts can be in allowing people to explore themselves and their feelings; which is why this project is going to be vital, and potentially a lifeline, to some young people.

“Young people are at the heart of our communities and are the people who will lead our society in the future. That is why it is important that they not only have their voices heard, but that they are given every opportunity possible to grow and gain the skills that could lead them to their career.”

The project will launch in February and those interested are invited to join the charity’s Facebook page to keep up to date on all the latest information.

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