Young college film-makers light up war on smoking for Cut Films awards

'It's Your Choice'... young film-makers on dangers of smoking

'It's Your Choice'... young film-makers on dangers of smoking - Credit: Hackney Community College

Students have made eight anti-smoking short films in Shoreditch for a competition which puts their ‘take’ on issues linked to youth smoking.

The students from Hackney Community College’s Hoxton campus entered the Cut Films contest run by the Deborah Hutton Campaign and the local authority.

The competition asked young people in east London to research smoking and make a two-minute film for their friends on social media.

“They are the experts in what speaks effectively to their peers,” said college course Tutor Nicola Godlieb.

“The project has opened them to new ways of thinking while the competition has given them a platform for voice.”

Smoking is still the single greatest cause of preventable death in east London, public health officials point out. They are hoping the film contest will help stop young people taking up smoking.

Nickola Rodney Bowie, 17, who directed one of the eight films submitted by the college, called ‘It’s Your Choice’, said: “It’s about how smoking is like an abusive relationship—you crave it, but it’s ruining your life.”

Another 340,000 children a year in Britain are tempted to try smoking, the Cut Films charity points out.

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Its director Emma Wrafter said: “It’s shocking that two-thirds of smokers start before they’re 18. The 150,000 youngsters between 11 and 15 who are regular smokers need to learn the dangers of tobacco.”

She praised the young film-makers from the college for “standing up to Big Tobacco.”

Awards for the best films are presented at the Dalston Rio on June 26.

Last year’s national winner was from the college in Falkirk Street, which is hoping to make it two years in a row.