Portsmouth young people create films to combat hate crime and knife crime


Young people in Portsmouth have supported the council to produce films that aim to combat hate crime and knife crime in the city.

Through Portsmouth Film Society, which supports local people from diverse and minority backgrounds to learn about film production, eight young people, aged 10 to 16, have taken part in the project.

13-year-old Seren Jones, who attends Priory School, said: “Taking on the different roles within a film crew was really cool and interesting. I felt like a key part of a team and enjoyed working with others. It has made me think about working in the industry and has help me consider doing a related GCSE.”

12-year-old Colby Hayward-Harrison from Trafalgar School added: “I joined this film course because I wanted to learn more about making films and being behind a camera. I have learned new skills and now know how to film correctly. It’s a great course and I would be interested in doing more.”

The films created by the young people will be used by Portsmouth City Council to educate and inform communities and youth groups about the rise of hate crime and knife crime, and the devastating consequences it can have.

Sessions for schools and out-of-school settings are being developed and are expected to be delivered from September.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Portsmouth City Council, said: “The aim of the project is to create discussion with young people who are affected by hate crime and knife crime, and to educate communities where we know this sort of crime is prevalent.

“Film is an excellent way to create interest, showcase the impact it can have and promote discussion, so if we prevent even one hate crime or stop one person being injured through this work, it will be worthwhile.”

One of the reasons Portsmouth City Council chose to work with Portsmouth Film Society was due to their commitment to cultural diversity and equality in Portsmouth and Southsea.

Aysegul Epengin, founder and coordinator of Portsmouth Film Society, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to encourage our young filmmakers to help discourage crimes that affect young people in Portsmouth. Young people are creative, bring energy, passion and provide a voice for the future! We are excited to see how we can help prevent serious crimes from happening.”

As well as producing films, Portsmouth Film Society hosts film events including drive-in movie nights and outdoor film exhibitions. Find out more at www.portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk.