Members of a Liverpool youth group have won a European award for a short film exploring discrimination and inequality in sport.
Young people aged 13 to 16 from GYRO (Gay Youth ‘R’ Out), a group for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), made the one-minute film, called ‘Sport is Gay’ based on their experiences of physical education in school and prejudice in professional sports.
The young people completed the project with Ariel Trust, a local charity funded by BBC Children in Need.
Danny Kilbride, BBC Children in Need Project Officer, said “It was a privilege working with such a creative and passionate group of young people. They worked incredibly hard over four sessions to write, act, direct and produce the film. It’s a brilliant short film, tackling important issues and for the film to be recognised in this way is a huge achievement for the group.”
GYRO originally entered the film into LGBT Youth North West’s annual Pink Box Competition, held in Manchester on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May, where it came second. The organisers of this competition then submitted the film to the organisers of the European festival.
The films were judged by an international jury of experts in equality issues and media. GYRO’s film faced competition from across the UK and shortlisted films from Albania, Italy and Spain.
A representative of the group received the award during a screening of shortlisted films in Milan, Italy, last month part of ‘Festival MIX Milano’, an annual festival of cinema and culture. The film will also be included in the RAINBOW Educational Toolkit DVD along with the other entries.
RAINBOW, which stands for Right Against INtolerance Building an Open-minded World, is aimed at teachers, children and young people, to challenge homophobia and transphobia in educational settings.
The project involved youth groups, schools and media professionals from across the EU to raise awareness of issues around sexual orientation and gender, to challenge stereotypes and prejudice, and share examples of good practice.
Kieran Bohan, coordinator of the GYRO group, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people to get their views heard and make a difference to others, not just in Liverpool, but across Europe.”
Emily, age 14, said; “It is an honour to receive the award and know that we are raising awareness across the EU. As other forms of bullying are addressed, so homophobia should be approached in the same manner.”
Thomas, 15, said: “The most enjoyable part about the film was working together, in front and behind the camera, to produce something we all thought accurately represented the negative experiences of LGBT people in sport. It conveys some of the challenges LGBT people face today, especially in schools.”
“I’m really shocked that our short film was considered for being included on a DVD. But knowing it has is just amazing, it makes you realize just how much a small group of people can do, given a camera and a few ideas.”
The group will receive a prize worth €900 (£750) to spend on media equipment to enable them to make more films in the future.
To watch the film, go to http://youtu.be/UHfdXrc0r1w
The Ariel Trust is an education charity engaging young people from disadvantaged communities with media skills to improve their life chances: arieltrust.com
GYRO is the UK’s longest running LGBT youth group, founded in 1976. It meets at the Young Person’s Advisory Service on Bolton Street, near the Adelphi Hotel: gyro.org.uk
RAINBOW is a European partnership project supported in the UK by the LGBT Consortium: lgbtconsortium.org.uk and School’s Out: schools-out.org.uk
For further information, please contact:
Danny Kilbride from the Ariel Trust on 07837172908
Kieran Bohan from GYRO on 07917658149