Mahua Youth Project assisted a group of 13 enthusiastic and talented young people aged between 5 and 14, to harness their knowledge and passion for Bollywood and Hollywood films by merging them together to create their very own dance film called Let’s Dance. This project has been supported by the Lottery through the UK Film Council’s First Light Movies initiative.
First Light Movies is the nationwide organisation which helps young people, aged between five and 19, make their own films. To fund projects First Light Movies distributes £1.1 million of National Lottery money, through UK Film Council funding, each year.
The group of young people have worked together to come up with the storyline (think Bollywood meets High School Musical) and have been led by industry professionals, who have taught them the technical skills required to shoot their own film. They have also lead the choreography and direction of the film.
The concept for the film is a fusion of their influences from Bollywood and Western Film, all inspired by dance within film their idea has incorporated this love of theirs yet with a strong moral undertone that they maturely decided was crucial to their film. The group are innocently exploring and enjoying a new identity that does not overtly lay claim to either their Britishness, or their Asian roots but simply presents themselves as both without any barriers. It is a celebration of an existing identity that has not been explored much through young people, especially in the medium of film.
Mahua Youth Project seeks to engage young people from the local community with fun and exciting cultural projects that assist in broadening their range of skills and experience. This project is being creatively and technically led by the group, their skills being identified and explored so that they have each chosen to specialise in the areas that they are interested in.
The young people had little or no previous filmmaking skills before attending the workshops but have individually identified the areas that they are interesting in, specialising in and with the support of industry professionals have been nurtured in these areas.