Entries are now open for NOVO Youth Council’s upcoming Make A Change (MAC) Film Festival.
Created by young people for young people, the MAC Film Festival aims to get young people in Swan Hill, Robinvale and surrounds to raise the profile of youth issues that matter to them.
Open to young people aged 12 to 25, short films can be up to five minutes in length and cover social issues recently identified by local youth including mental health, bullying, LGBTIQ rights, disability discrimination, drug and alcohol culture, racism, family violence and body image.
NOVO Youth Council members Hana Roberts and Emily Rush said the idea for a film festival started with NOVO making a film to address mental health stigma in the community.
“We wanted to shine a light on youth issues in a different way to normal”, Ms Roberts said
“By setting this up as a film festival, it means everyone can get involved – either in front or behind the camera. It’s a really engaging way to get the message across.”
Ms Rush agreed saying they hoped the festival not only addressed youth issues, but brought more awareness to causes that young people are passionate about.
“It’s also a good chance for young film makers to get their work out there, which could go on to provide opportunities for their future” – Emily Rush
Held during Victorian Youth Week 2018, the MAC Film Festival will be open to all members of the public and will include film premieres, award presentations and key note addresses from local young people.
Council’s Youth Support Co-ordinator Kane Sparks encouraged community members, both young and old, to attend.
“What makes this film festival special is that it not only allows young people to creatively express their opinions, but gives them a safe space to have these opinions to be heard by the wider community,” Mr Sparks said.
“Consistency is key to creating cultural change. Regularly bringing the complex issues that our local young people face to the forefront raises awareness. And it’s only when we’re aware, that we can take steps to change these behaviours.”
Mr Sparks added that on top of encouraging social change, the film festival would also highlight the talent and passion of our local young community.
“By giving young people a platform to express themselves creatively, we’re also highlighting their unique ability to contribute to their community in a positive and meaningful way.”
Entries for the Make A Change Film Festival close Friday, 30 March. For more information, including a film making guide, visit the Youth Inc website here or call 0419 288 365.
The project was made possible thanks to funding from the State Government’s Victorian Youth Week Grant, NOVO and Swan Hill Rural City Council.