Friday, 28 March 2014

Young rebels with a cause to showcase their first documentary

A film produced by local youngsters, unravelling the highs and lows of youth culture over the past 60 years, makes its debut on the silver screen this month.

Teenage Kicks is a film project co-ordinated by Youth Focus: North East (formerly Regional Youth Work Unit – North East), a charity based in Gateshead that works across the region to improve the lives of young people.

Entirely youth-led – the project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and has involved the production of a 30-minute documentary that examines the portrayal of young people in the media and society across each of the decades since World War 2. It culminates next week with a free public screening at Tyneside Cinema.

From Teddy Boys, Mods and Rockers and Punks through to Skinheads and the infamous rave scene of the 1990s, the film looks at how these different youth sub-cultures have been documented by the media of their time, and in turn, how they were rightfully or unjustly perceived by wider society.

Collectively, the group of 15 young people involved in the project, aged between 13 and 25, have volunteered over 250 hours of their time. As well as gathering first-hand accounts of what life was like growing up in these different decades, the group also interviewed a number of experts in youth culture, including high-profile street culture photographer Derek Ridgers whose work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums have also supported the film project, enabling the young people involved to access archived footage, photographs and articles.

Jamie Mercer, Teenage Kicks Project Co-ordinator, said: “It’s been an exciting journey for the group. From day one the young people have led on the project, choosing the film’s direction, setting up and conducting interviews and deciding on which footage made the final cut – which they edited themselves, too. They’re so proud of the documentary and can’t wait for their family, friends and members of the public to watch the exclusive cinema screening at the end of the month.“

Teenage Kicks will be screened on 31 March 2014 at 3.30pm in the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle. To pre-book a place, please contact

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