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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Dowdales School pupils tackle tobacco through film competition

EM Dowdales smoking film makers

SIXTY young people from Dowdales School took part in an innovative anti-tobacco filmmaking workshop as part of the Cut Films North West 2012 Short Film Competition this week.

Eighty-three per cent of children in the North West who try smoking do so before they are 14 years old. So the competition asks young people across the North West to research tobacco marketing or smoking in the media, make a two minute short film about it for their friends, upload to the competition website and share it on their social media. It’s their take on the issues associated with youth smoking. It’s an innovative peer-to-peer approach.

Youth worker, Colin Farrell led the workshop with students from Year 8 on the key themes of the competition including the impact of celebrity and entertainment on young people’s smoking behaviour. Students got involved through role-play, had a go at filmmaking and viewed past winners of the competition.

The young people at Dowdales School also scripted out ideas for their own short films and looked at examples of current tobacco packaging as part of this. Kyle Ritchie aged 13 from Barrow said about tobacco packaging: “The pretty packs are wrong because they persuade people to buy them. The plain ones show us the consequences more clearly.”

Kimberley Walker aged 13 from Askam discussed the current tobacco law on packaging as part of the workshop saying: “We should have plain (packaging) because it's telling people how bad it is.”

The competition launched to coincide with the Government consultation on plain, standardised cigarette packaging and will help young people to understand important issues around tobacco marketing. The plain packaging consultation ends on 10 July 2012.

The project is being delivered by The Deborah Hutton Campaign and Smoke & Mirrors youth anti-tobacco project. 10 workshops will take place across the North West. Tobacco Free Futures is funding the competition.

The competition is open to anyone aged under 25 in the North West and closes on 20 July 2012. Winners will receive iPads and shopping vouchers.

There will be a winner from each North West County.

Voting for the films closes on 27 August 2012. The North West Awards Ceremony will take place in November 2012.

Visit www.cutfilms.org/smokeandmirrors to enter or find out more.

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