Kelso film-makers at festival

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The young members of Kelso Youth Project are celebrating two successful film premieres at this year’s Berwick International Film festival.

A group of 10 budding film-makers spent part of their summer holidays putting together a film with the Edinburgh-based professional Martin Smith.

The screening of their film – All My Friends Are Dead – on Saturday, in competition for the Chris Anderson Award at the festival, was the first time the young people had seen their film on the big screen and was its international premiere.

The work on making and watching a film is a part of the Kelso Youth Project’s programme, which is divided into five strands and offers young people aged nine to 18 years activities, events and projects in the arts, music, film, physical activity and well-being.

The project has already made eight animated films and this film is the first made with actors and on location; and judging by the enthusiasm of the young people for this type of project it will be not be the last film made in Kelso.

David Harvey, chair of Cheviot Youth, which runs the Kelso Youth Project, was delighted.

He told The Southern: “I wholeheartedly congratulate all the young people involved in this film project for their success in getting nominated for the Chis Anderson Award and for their hard work, teamwork and enthusiasm for the world of film.”

Anja Raeburn, a youth worker working with the young people on the film, added: “They were a wonderful bunch of young people – a delight to be with and great fun. It was such a good team.”

And young filmmaker Leon Hodgkinson commented: “I enjoyed all parts of the film making. It was good that we could do the sound, camera work and direct.

“Then we all contributed to the script and had a chance to act in the film.”

These high school pupils were joined at the Young Filmmakers Showcase by another group of young people, aged nine to 11, from the Kelso Youth Project, who have just completed their first film.

The film called Scary, Stupid, Love, is a comic love story about a time-travelling talking car, two star-struck lovers, a power-crazy evil stepmother and her equally evil daughter, and a plan to take over the Borders.

The primary six and seven group, working over two weekends, managed to write, direct, act and produce this film in only 18 hours.

Helped by experienced film maker Tom Swift and staff from Kelso Youth Project, the group worked hard and showed excellent teamwork to produce this film in such a short space of time.

Speaking after the film was completed, Tom said: “It was incredible and quite inspirational working with this group of young people as they let their imaginations run wild to produce a film unlike any other film project that I have ever been involved with. I think that they should be very pleased with what they have produced.”

Both films were well received by a packed and appreciative audience at The Maltings in Berwick, with the young filmmakers very excited at seeing themselves on the big screen for the first time.