St Austell is the location of a new film about teenage pregnancy this autumn. Young people from The House youth facility at Polkyth Leisure Centre have been working with arts company Blind Ditch to research, script and storyboard a film on the issue, with a two-day shoot coming up in October half term.
Before assembling the cast and crew to capture their story on film, the young people produced a storyboard of drawings that describe the film on paper first. A selection of those drawings have been painted on a large scale to be put in various locations across town.
These drawings, produced by the young people in their evenings and weekends, show scenes from the story where the fictional characters Collette, a 15-year-old St Austell girl, and her boyfriend, Andrew, of the same age, go through the emotions and anxiety connected to the belief that she might be pregnant. The film follows Collette as she plucks up the courage to buy and take a pregnancy test.
The young people themselves were responsible for fundraising for the project, and were successful in obtaining a grant from the Terrance Higgins Trust to make a film specifically about teenage pregnancy.
Statistics show that there is a greater chance of young women Collette’s age getting pregnant in St Austell than other areas of the UK. Young people at The House saw an opportunity to do something positive in the area to address the issue.
Youth worker Kate Heath told D+CFilm: ‘We are aware that many of the young people we meet have experience of these issues, either personally or know friends who have. As well as being a fun experience for the young people, the film project will form part of our programme of sex education, and we hope the storyboards that we’re putting up in the town and the resulting film will be shown in other youth clubs and local schools to spread the message. ‘
Cat Radford of the artists group Blind Ditch said: ‘Producing the storyboards at this size and placing them around the town gives the young people a public celebration of their hard work part way through the film making process.
“It is a great advertisement of the project to the local community, not only to show off the young people’s work, but also to gather interest from any members of the public who want to get involved either as cast members, extras or crew. We are looking for four adult cast members to play the parts of TV journalist, camera operator, pregnant lady 1 and pregnant lady 2, so let us know if you want to be involved!’
Filming takes place on Monday and Tuesday, October 26 and 27 at various locations in St Austell.
A screening of the final film will take place at The House in December to invited audience of dignitaries, teachers, youth workers and friends and family.
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