Thursday 7 July saw the premiere of a unique film made by around 50 young people from four Swindon secondary schools taking a sensitive look at faith and belief.
The culmination of six months of discussion, debate and dialogue, the Face to Faith film premiered to an invited audience of 100 at the Swindon Arts Centre. Face to Faith captures ideas around belief, belonging, tolerance and creating peace in 4 dynamic and challenging sections to the film. The students from Commonweal, Nova Hreod, Ridgeway and Kingsdown schools chose to use animation, drama, dance and art to express their ideas and create a lively, moving and colourful film.
Face to Faith was funded by the National Association of SACREs (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) and the film will go on to help inform how Religious Studies are taught in the future.
Katalin Wood of Swindon Borough Council’s Community Cohesion team led the workshops and discussions over a period of months, building a great relationship with the pupils from Kingsdown, Commonweal, Ridgeway and Nova Hreod Schools to the point they were ready to share their ideas and views working with filmmakers from Create Studios, part of the Culture Swindon team.
Katalin said, “Working with the young people was amazing – they were so articulate at sharing their views and ideas. We felt privileged to be part of it – they embraced the project and threw themselves into it. Not all of them had a faith and all had come for different reasons – but I learnt that discussion around Religion, Faith and Belief is a great platform for nurturing identity and developing thinking.”
Shahina Johnson, Manager of Create Studios said, “Face to Faith has been a perfect example of Create Studios projects at their best; creating life changing experiences for young people using media production, and helping them get their messages across to shape the world around them.”
The Face to Faith film will go on to be shown on BBC Big Screen and young people’s film festivals around the country.