New film project will help LGBT+ young people in Fife

The Pink Saltire committee with Stuart Duffy (right)
The Pink Saltire committee with Stuart Duffy (right)

Young LGBT+ people in Fife are to be at the heart of a three-year £85,000 filmmaking project aimed at improving mental health.

The project, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, is entitled ‘Through the Lens’, and will be delivered by Pink Saltire, the Scottish human rights charity.

It will focus on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people aged 13 to 21.

The charity will work with professionals from the creative industries around the country to deliver workshops that will encourage young people with an interest in film or documentary-making.

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It will then help them to produce an original short film about an issue affecting their lives.

It’s hoped the project, as well as giving useful practical experience to those who want to progress a career in front of or behind the camera, will also reduce isolation and improve mental health.

Stuart Duffy, the charity’s founder, said: “We’re so excited to be launching this new project in Fife where things are really starting to change for LGBT people.

“We hope it will offer an opportunity for some of our best creative minds around the Kingdom to link up with young people and empower them to create a film which throws light on issues which really affect them.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

Pink Saltire was formed in 2014 and has been delivering projects for the LGBT community across Scotland for several years.

A series of short documentaries commissioned in 2016 by the charity included a film for the TIE Campaign and a film about LGBT people living in rural communities in Fife.

Funding for the project, totalling £88,000 across three years, will come from the ‘Young Start’ programme, managed by the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, which distributes cash from dormant bank accounts to good causes around the country.

Maureen McGinn, chairman, said: “I am delighted that young LGBT+ people from across Scotland will develop their digital media skills, using these to highlight issues that matter to them most through the Pink Saltire project.”

The project will help deliver new services for LGBT young people in Fife, where there has been a dramatic increase in activity since the charity moved into new offices in Kirkcaldy.

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Julie Ford, depute Provost for Fife, said: “Pink Saltire has done so much to assist in promoting and providing equality for the LGBT+ community in Fife.

“This new project is going to push that even further forward.

“We know that young people can find it very difficult when coming out and telling people about their sexuality and/or gender identity.

“But we also know how important the expressive arts can be in allowing them to explore their feelings.

“That is why this project is going to be vital, and potentially a lifeline, to some young people.”

The project will launch in February and anyone interested can join the charity’s Facebook page to keep up to date on the latest information.