JOBLESS young men from Bolton have produced a film highlighting the plight of the town’s unemployed.
Shameless star Ciaran Griffiths, who plays Mickey Maguire in the hit Channel 4 show, worked alongside the 10-strong group to make the film, entitled Mr One Million, which tells the fictional tale of Danny from Breightmet and the realities of being out of work .
The cast and crew, who arrived in a limo, were among more than 100 people who attended the film’s premiere at Bolton Cineworld on Tuesday evening.
The night included the showing of a short documentary on the making of the film, the film itself, and an audience Q&A, in which some of those who had taken part revealed it had changed their lives.
The project, which was developed by Bolton At Home, was designed to highlight the number of young people aged 18 to 24 who are currently unemployed in the UK.
Gaynor Cox, who is the arts officer for Bolton At Home’s east neighbourhood team, said: “They have put so much effort into making this project a success and it was very moving to hear them speak afterwards about how the experience had given them fresh purpose and, in some cases, how it had been life-changing.” The project started in September, 2011, and was devised to help encourage young men aged 18 to 24 in Breightmet to raise their aspirations and boost their confidence and motivation.
Creative workshops led by artist and local theatre practitioner Paul Hine started in March, 2012, with ideas and opinions forming the basis of a film script conceived by the young men and penned by scriptwriter Louise Wallwein.
The group then took part in all elements of film production, either behind or in front of the camera, with Ciaran helping to put them through their acting paces.
Mr Hine said: “I strongly believe that the Mr One Million film project has helped the lads focus their energy, develop a multitude of both hard and soft skills and built their confidence and aspirations for the future. Above all, this project has highlighted to me the tragic waste of human resources mass youth unemployment creates.”
One of the actors, Ryan Huddleston, aged 20, of Greenroyd Avenue, has been out of work since leaving college last August where he was studying sports science, but is now on a work placement, He said: “The premiere was probably the best night of the whole thing.
“We got to wear our suits and there was a red carpet which surprised me, the film was great and we had a laugh with friends and family, and a meal at the end to top it off.”
He said: “Making the film was great from day one. Getting to know people, scriptwriting and planning the whole thing was brilliant.
“We’re like one big family now, one big production family, and I’ll go on doing this until the day I die.”
The group now wants to recruit new faces for a follow- on project.