North East Connected

Young North East filmmaker’s documentary about Newcastle’s LGBT community to be screened at international film festival

A young North East director’s short film documenting the struggles faced by LGBT individuals for acceptance will be shown at an international film festival in Norway later this year.

Lauren McCaughey’s short film ‘OUT’ will be screened in November as part of the Ringerike International Youth Film Festival (RIYFF), a unique film festival for young filmmakers aged 14-26 from all over the world hosted in the city of Hønefoss near Oslo.

‘OUT’ was made by Lauren and three other young filmmakers as part of the 2016 Northern Stars Documentary Academy hosted at Tyneside Cinema. Produced in Newcastle, the film explores the challenges individuals face when emerging into the LGBT community, revealing through four interwoven stories how recent national and international events have cast a shadow on progress made in the last 40 years.

Northern Stars Documentary Academy is based at Tyneside Cinema’s dedicated Pop-Up Film School on Pilgrim Street in central Newcastle, and is made possible by the sponsorship of intu , who co-own intu Eldon Square in Newcastle and intu Metrocentre in Gateshead.

Lauren McCaughey said: “Having ‘Out’ accepted as part of the Ringerike Festival is so exciting and I feel incredibly grateful to the festival for offering this opportunity and to intu Eldon Square for making it possible for me to travel to the festival in the form of extra financial support.” She added: “Taking part in Documentary Academy has allowed me to take practical filmmaking from only an aspiration to being an area I now feel more confident and excited to explore, and hopefully work within in the future”.

Lauren’s film won a North East Young Filmmakers Award earlier this year, and has also received a commendation from the 2017 RTS North East & The Border Young People’s Media Festival.

Its inclusion in the festival in Norway comes as another Documentary Academy film has enjoyed awards success closer to home.

The short film ‘Oasis’ won the Chris Anderson Award at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in September. Made by a small group of young filmmakers aged 15-19, Oasis reveals the stories behind customers of The Oasis Café in the west end of Newcastle, a much-needed hub for the local community.

Jack Davidson, director of Oasis, said: “It is such an honour to have won the Berwick Young Filmmakers’ Award, especially as this was the first time any film of mine has been entered into a festival.”

He added: “The Documentary wouldn’t have been possible without the brilliant training, help and expertise given by the mentors at Tyneside Cinema, as well as the wonderful subjects of my documentary that willingly gave their time to allow me to tell their stories. I’m really looking forward to visiting Oasis Cafe again to tell them the good news!”

Alexander Nicoll, intu’s Corporate Responsibility Director, said: “Everyone at intu is delighted that ‘OUT’ has been internationally recognised as a brilliantly made film which delivers a powerful message. Congratulations to Lauren and her team of filmmakers and also to Jack Davidson and those who made ‘Oasis’ a worthy winner at the Berwick Film Festival. I am thrilled that ‘OUT’ and ‘Oasis’ were made as part of the Northern Stars Documentary Academy supported by intu.”

The Documentary Academy programme offers participants the chance to work with leading industry professionals to make their own short documentary films about the world around them, gain practical hands-on experience of all aspects of film production and develop key employability skills.

This year’s Documentary Academy participants are in the process of making their films, which will be shown at Tyneside Cinema later this year at a special premiere for family and friends.

More information about Northern Stars Documentary can be found online at

‘OUT’ can be viewed online at

‘Oasis’ can be viewed online at

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