Not Straight Forward

by Christine Physick in Waterloo, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 10th July 2018 we successfully raised £490 with 8 supporters in 35 days

A five week filmmaking project for young people, aged 13 - 19, exploring issues around sexuality and the LGBTA community.

by Christine Physick in Waterloo, England, United Kingdom

About the Plaza Community Cinema

The Plaza Community Cinema, situated in Waterloo, Merseyside,  first opened in 1939. In  1997, it was threatened with closure  and almost certain demolition, before the local community raised enough money to  run it as a Community Cinema. 

Still going strong, the cinema has recently converted to digital and shows all the latest films, as well as holding special community events and screenings. As part of the Art and Education programme, the Plaza runs Autism and Dementia  friendly film screenings, workshops and courses to benefit the local community and those from a wider area. Since 2012, the Plaza has worked in partnership with Cottonfield Films Community Interest Company to deliver several successful filmmaking projects and courses during school holidays. 

All our projects are fully inclusive and bring together young people of all abilities and those with additional needs, with the aim of helping young people to develop a wider circle of friends  and to appreciate difference. The value of this approach was recognised earlier this year when the Plaza was awarded the IMIS/Lady Doris & Sir Sydney Samuelson Award for making film and cinema accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information, go to;

About Our Films

"You just can't get an experience like it..." - M.T.

Delivered in a safe, inclusive, fun and positive environment, our films are driven by the young people who attend the projects, often comprising of issues they are dealing with in their everyday lives. 

Guided by professional freelancers, the young people write and develop their own scripts, produce, direct, film, edit and compose music using professional equipment and techniques. We believe in a "hands-on" approach to teaching, so the young people get to use professional standard equipment and software . The style and genre of our films varies with each project, from narrative zombie stories, to animated surrealism, to comic book, to documentaries, all of which are screened at a special premiere night at the Plaza Cinema, which includes the young filmmakers taking part in a Q&A session with the audience. 

Issues we have explored include, Autism, Crime, Disability, Gender expectations, Peer Pressure and Bullying. Some of our more educational films have also been disseminated to local schools, to be used in PSHE sessions.

How This Project Will Work

"There's more to filmmaking than just turning the camera on..." - J.U.

By raising £10,000, we will be able to produce a short, narrative film of approximately 15 - 20 minutes in length. The project will run for four days per week, for four weeks in the August school holiday, and for four days of the week-long October holiday, to complete post-production.

The money will be used to hire a professional freelance filmmaker, drama coach, make-up artist, set designer, musician, graphic designer and colour grader, to work with and guide the young people through the entire process of making a film. The young people will: develop a story, write a script, draw storyboards, write a shooting schedule, cast the film, act, direct, produce, design and build a set, learn hair and make-up techniques, light the set, record audio, learn camera operation, critique and edit the film, colour grade the film, produce any special effects required, compose and record the music soundtrack, design promotional posters and a DVD cover.

The young people will also take part in a Q&A session at the premiere screening of the film, which is likely to take place in January 2019.

Money will also be used for art materials, props and costume, venue hire for the project to take place and DVD production, as everyone who takes part in the project receives a copy of the film.

If we raise less than the £10,000, we will either adjust the length of the project, or use the money raised as "match-funding" and apply for the rest of the money through another funding body.

Why Should I Fund You?

"... help teenagers speak out about their sexuality..." - M.F.

Several of our cohort  identify themselves as LGBTA and have experienced difficulties as a result. They have told us they want to develop an educational docu-drama with self help features and points of contact for support. The project will culminate in a public awareness screening of the film at the Plaza accompanied by a Q&A involving the audience and young cast and crew. Copies of the film will be disseminated to local schools for use as training tools as well as resources for assemblies and PSHE lessons.

By supporting the Plaza, you are supporting a genuine community project, supporting the next generation of filmmakers, writers, editors, musicians and graphic designers. As well as the technical skills that the young people learn, they also learn soft and transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership, organisation & planning, decision-making, communication and public speaking. All of this goes to provide the most important benefit of all, confidence and self-belief.

We work with young people from disadvantaged areas, so do not charge the young people a fee to take part in our projects, because we don't want anybody to miss out due to their financial situation.

Our projects help provide a pathway to education, work experience and careers, with the skills and knowledge gained on these projects being attractive to colleges, universities and employers.

Some further discussion from some of our young people, discussing how our projects have benefitted them:

Some previous films;

The Possessor; a non-issue based narrative Horror film.

Perceptions of Disability; a documentary exploring attitudes to disability.

To donate, please enter an amount in the box on the right hand side of the page. No amount too small. Thank you.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Access Pass

Pledge £10 and you will: - Get your name in the end credits - Receive a code to watch the film online

£20 or more

Name in credits and DVD

Pledge £20 and you will: - Have your name in the end credits of the film - Receive a copy of the DVD, including the Q&A session from the premiere screening. - Be named and receive a Thank you on our social media pages and keep you up to date with how the project is progressing

£50 or more

Screening Invitation

Pledge £50 and you will; - Get your name in the end credits of the film - Receive a copy of the DVD, including the Q&A from the Premiere - Be invited to attend the Premiere Screening of the film - We will thank you on our social media pages and keep you informed of the progress of the project

£250 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Set visitation

Pledge £250 and you will; - Have your name in the end credits of the film - Receive a copy of the DVD, including the Q&A from the Premiere Screening - Be invited to the Premiere Screening of the film - Be invited to visit the set of the film for one day (up to 5 hours) - We will say thank you on our social media pages and keep you informed of the progress of the project

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