The ‘Reel Politics’ project was a partnership between Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Assembly and Cinemagic aimed at young women aged 16-25 years old. Cinemagic’s ‘Reel Politics’ took place from February-March 2015. 24 young women came together for this innovative film project to encourage more of them to get involved in the political arena!
Belfast Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon and The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Councillor Mallon said: While some progress has been made in relation to gender equality, women remain a minority when it comes to politics in Northern Ireland so it is exciting to see an innovative project like this aimed at encouraging young women to consider what they could do to improve things.The aim of this project was to inspire a new generation of young women to step up and get involved in the political life of their community, something I have been encouraging too during my year as Lord Mayor.Film is a powerful media for influencing others and providing a voice that is easily understood. I know there was great competition to be accepted onto this project and I have no doubt we have some future female leaders taking part.”
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, said: “It is very important that the Assembly should be representative of the community it serves but we clearly have much more work to do on that. Therefore, I was very pleased to support this project and encourage young women to get involved in the political life of their community. Not only will this project help inspire young women to make a difference, it will also give them very real skills that can be applied to their future careers.At the Assembly, we believe that it is vitally important that all our young people have the opportunity to take part in political and civic life, it is only then that their views may be truly reflected. This innovative project will make a real impact on those young women taking part.”
The week in February taught the young people about filmmaking from script to screen while looking at social issues such as domestic abuse, social media and employment. They had five days to create three original short films, shooting in Belfast City Hall, Parliament Buildings and the Northern Ireland Science Park, focusing on the benefits of young women in politics. The films were screened at Belfast City Hall and the NI Assembly to mark International Women’s Day on Friday, 6 March.
The project was a wonderful opportunity for young women who were interested in developing filmmaking skills and who also felt passionately about politics. The project offered a practical film experience as well as a platform for young people’s views to be heard.