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Paddle against the flow.

TCO creates 'Beyond the Screen' series for Facebook to celebrate inspirational communities

 

Facebook is celebrating some of the most inspirational communities founded by young people in the UK in a series of short films set for national release in Everyman cinemas this October.

The ‘Beyond the Screen’ series consists of six shorts which shine a light on the incredible individuals whose personal and powerful stories are the driving force behind some truly inspirational groups of people.

The films were produced by TCO London through Hope & Glory in collaboration with British film makers and highlight the varied ways young people have used Facebook to start, grow and bring their communities together and demonstrate how social media can bring about positive change in the real world.

These groups tackle issues that are extremely relevant today, such as the plastic in our oceans, the refugee crisis and period poverty, while also focusing on often overlooked groups facing their own challenges, such as the burgeoning deaf rave scene, the communities behind independent wrestling events and the lack of diversity in the performing arts.

From Gabby Edlin taking on period poverty in her twenties, to Josie Naughton whose call for support for refugees turned into a global movement, and young friends on the Scottish coast taking the degradation of their environment into their own hands, the shorts celebrate those who go online to make a difference offline.

The films reflect findings recently published in an independent report by Demos called ‘Plugged In’. The study, commissioned by Facebook, found that nearly two-thirds of young people in the UK (64%) see social media platforms as essential for achieving social change.

  • Over half (55%) of young people believe social media makes positive offline change more likely to happen

  • Around half a million young people now engage with political groups through social media, and nearly 1 in 4 communicate with community groups, charities and campaign groups

  • However, 65% of young people feel their use of social media is misunderstood by older generations, and 55% of 35-50 year olds agree that they don’t understand the positive ways young people use social media

Steve Hatch, VP for Facebook Northern Europe, said: “It is so inspiring to see what the young people featured in these short films have achieved, using social media to amplify their ideas and change the world around them. Helping people to build communities through Facebook is at the heart of our mission, and we can learn a lot from how this digital-first generation are using social media to make a positive change in the real world. We hope the ‘Beyond the Screen’ films inspire others to start or join a group and connect with others who share their passions and interests.”

Simon Baker, Managing Director of TCO the ‘Beyond the Screen’ shorts, said: “It’s been a humbling experience to capture the amazing work of these young people shaping the world around them through Facebook. The films were created with our network of British filmmakers, capturing these inspirational stories, cultural movements, and young people as they continue to develop, grow and make a difference to those around them.” 

Gabby Edlin, Founder of Bloody Good Period, said: “Bloody Good Period started as a status on Facebook asking friends and family for donations, but it quickly became clear just how many people wanted to be involved. There’s a whole period poverty community who are using social media to connect with each other and reach those we never knew cared. It is such a fixable issue, if we work together as a society we can make sure that everyone has access to sanitary products.”  

The films will be screened for the public free of charge at Everyman Cinemas in Bristol, Barnet, Birmingham, Leeds, Muswell Hill, Stratford-Upon-Avon, York and Esher between 17 October and 7 November. Tickets and screen times can be found on www.everymancinema.com


THE FILMS

The ‘Beyond the Screen’ short film series focuses on six Facebook communities including:

D&G Eco Warriors Beach CleanThe D&G Eco Warriors Beach Cleans was set up by Lottie, Fiona and Laura who shared an interest in cleaning up Dumfries and Galloway and making a difference however large or small in their community. The Warriors, only set up in January this year, have since inspired the formation of other local groups and has attracted a dedicated following of volunteers who lend their time to help clean their local beaches. The group has also become a network for members to highlight areas that would benefit from a sweep from the group, leading to a more beautiful natural environment for all. 

Help RefugeesHelp Refugees is at the forefront of the European refugee crisis. It is a young grassroots collective that has tried to create a more dynamic form of aid in Calais and Greece, where even seasoned aid workers admit their traditional models have failed. With the help of tens of thousands of volunteers found through social media, Help Refugees is able to respond where the need is greatest, whether that means providing food, clothing, shelter, funding or more. They now fund more than 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East, making them the biggest facilitator of grassroots humanitarian aid on the continent.

Deaf RaveTroi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003, a quarterly event in London designed specifically for deaf clubbers. It’s just celebrated its 15th anniversary, but Lee says there is still much to be done. Deaf people are twice as likely to suffer from depression as hearing people and there’s still a huge stigma attached to being a deaf music fan. They feel they are one of the most marginalised groups in society, owing to their isolation, unemployment, lack of British Sign Language in mainstream schools and the daily frustrations of communication barriers. The ability to post videos and go live on Facebook has been instrumental in helping Troi build his events brand and find other ‘deafies’ who share his love of music and partying despite people’s preconceptions.

Bloody Good PeriodBloody Good Period was started by Gabby Edlin who decided something needed to be done about the fact that very few food banks and asylum seeker drop-in centres were providing feminine hygiene products, despite a desperate need. What started as a whip-round online is now a growing enterprise with a vision to end period poverty. Bloody Good Period aims to create a sustainable flow (pun intended) of sanitary protection for those who can't afford to buy them. Its Facebook page has over 2,500 followers who donate, collect, distribute and march together to end period poverty. 

Pro Wrestling SubjectivePro Wrestling Subjective is an independent wrestling company lead by Steve Valentino who has built it into an impressive troupe with a passion for community and competition. Wrestling is thriving in unexpected places all across the UK and this low-budget and high-impact place attracts adrenalin junkies to come together in unlikely teams. One regular wrestler is Athena Furie, who tackles pre-conceptions of Asian women in the ring. Athena is often one of very few women at the events. Although wresting is still dominated by men it is evolving, with Athena receiving plenty of support and encouragement from this thriving community.

Ballet BlackBallet Black is a professional ballet company for international dancers of black and Asian descent. The company was founded in 2001 by their Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho MBE, in order to provide role models to young, aspiring black and Asian dancers. They aim to bring ballet to a more culturally diverse audience by celebrating black and Asian dancers in ballet.