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Through our eyes: five new films about the lives of young carers

Premiere screening at Belfast Children’s Festival – 5 to 14 March 2021

Young carers from across Northern Ireland form the central focus of five short films, collectively entitled Through Our Eyes, which will be screened together for the first time at Belfast Children’s Festival on Friday 5 March at 6.30pm.

Produced by DU Dance (NI), in partnership with Barnardo’s Northern Ireland, this dance film project is the result of a groundbreaking programme of work, which began in 2018, funded by BBC Children in Need.

The carers, who are aged between 10 and 18 years, came together in five groups drawn from several health trust areas. They embarked upon an intensive series of exploratory workshops, which culminated in filming at stunning locations chosen by the participants. For the majority, this was their first foray into the worlds of dance, film and the performing arts.

The project’s aim was to give a physical expression to the personal experiences of the individual group members and create five distinctive, arts-based short films. The results offer recognition and affirmation of the challenges faced by these fine young people, whose voices are rarely heard in the wider world.

Some 8,352 children in Northern Ireland take on the role of providing significant care for a family member.  Their average age is 12 years old. Many are caring for a family member at home and live in fear and uncertainty about the future; almost all surrender much of their childhood to their responsibilities.

It has been a privilege to work and create alongside the young people in these films. By sharing the films we hope to raise awareness of some of the issues they face in their daily lives and, at a time when COVID-19 restrictions put extra pressures on all young people, to acknowledge their amazing strength and resilience.

Mags Byrne, Artistic Director of DU Dance (NI)

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For more information on the festival click here

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