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ScreenPLAY is a social enterprise. We believe in enabling and empowering people through arts activity.

Giving people a voice, through film and arts projects helps develop life skills, confidence and self esteem while reducing exclusion and inequality. Young people become more active partners in their own education, developing knowledge for later life. The people we work with are at the heart of our films, making a difference to their schools, neighbourhoods and wider communities. The range of our work has grown to include making seafront banners with children in schools, an immersive ‘healing journey’ in a remote Dorset landscape using mobile digital technologies. Our projects create a sense of place in which those taking part become co-creators of the work.

ScreenPLAY works with young people to give them the digital skills they need for work, for their future education and for 21st century life. Our Silver Arts Award in Film and Digital production -
hailed as an ‘excellent series of high quality arts experiences’ - offers young people a level 2 GCSE A-C equivalent qualification read more

The techniques at the heart of our work are what we call our ‘dramatherapy approach’ to filmmaking, developed by ScreenPLAY Co-director Sharon Hayden who is a practicising dramatherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Using skilled facilitators, we create a safe space for participants and enable them to tell their stories through drama, art and film.

The need for our work with young people is well supported by academic research. Emotional health in childhood is the most important contributing factor in young people’s future satisfaction and happiness in life, according to Professor Richard Layard and the Wellbeing research project at the London School of Economics (What Predicts a Successful Life - A Life-Course model of Well-being, Economic Journal Nov 2014).

ScreenPLAY has delivered several projects in partnership with Jigsaw PSHE, developers of the Jigsaw scheme of social and emotional learning for primary and secondary schools.
"We wanted to give you the idea that you are not watching it - you are part of the story."
Tia - Jigsaw Jenie My Hero
A romantic stroll by the sea turns into a violent struggle when there’s no table for tea in this silent film by Arts Award students in Weymouth.

Tea for Two - set in 1918 to mark the year of armistice and votes for women - is a comedy inspired by Charlie Chaplain’s The Immigrant.
The film, shown throughout the summer of 2018 on the big screen in Brewery Square, Dorchester, was made by students with learning disabilities at Westfield Arts College in Weymouth for their Silver Arts Award in Film and digital production with artists Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet from ScreenPLAY.

The drama was planned and storyboarded, and the acting improvised. It was shot over two days in the college theatre and on Weymouth seafront. The group were supported by arts professionals Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet from ScreenPLAY.

17 year old Jaxon who plays the waiter explained how they developed the plot: “We watched the Charlie Chaplain film The Immigrant which has a cafe scene with an waiter who is violent with his customers. We thought it would be interesting to have customers who get angry with the waiter.”

Moderator Jackie Calderwood from Trinity College, London said it had been “An excellent film-making project with young people working with professional artist filmmakers, exploring a range of techniques and artforms.”

Students at a screening loved the comedy. One commented: “The waiter spitting on the plates made me laugh - I was disgusted but in a funny way.”

Westfield’s Leader of learning Saira Sawtell said the film was “highly engaging”. “I particularly enjoyed the comedy and the chances for our students to practice facial expressions and gestures - the silent form really played to their strengths.”

ScreenPLAY’s Sharon Hayden said the students had grown as a group throughout their residency. “Westfield students have a unique approach to life and we have really enjoyed working with them. Hopefully the teamwork, leadership and filmmaking skills they have developed will help them on the next step of their journey. We are especially grateful to funders Trinity College, London and the Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund without whom this project would not have been possible.”

Music chosen by Charlie, the piano player, includes Fig Leaf Rag, a variation of Palm Tree Rag and Batty McFaddin - both by US musician Kevin Macleod.
What was it like to be a worker at a first World War cordite factory or a nurse looking after grievously injured soldiers at a Red Cross Hospital ?
Tommy’s Sisters, based on diaries and archives, tells the moving story of life on the home front through the eyes of four women and a girl in 1916.
ScreenPLAY was a production partner on this film with State of Play Arts, for the Priest’s House Museum First World War Centenary Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The film is being screened around Dorset with the actors in costume and in role taking part in a post show discussion about their lives up to 1920.
For more information about Tommy’s Sisters please email ObscureMyEmail