Free films for teens extended after funding boost

FILM FANS ... Daniel Clifford, left, and Customs House director Ray Spencer.
FILM FANS ... Daniel Clifford, left, and Customs House director Ray Spencer.

A PROJECT to screen free films for teenagers in South Tyneside has been extended thanks to a £5,000 funding boost.

The Custom Reels screenings will now run at the Customs House, in South Shields, until the end of March.

The films, hand-picked by the Custom Reels Council, will be shown at the Mill Dam venue each Tuesday, exclusively for 13 to 19-year-olds.

The group, launched to promote an interest in watching and making films among young people, had originally scheduled screenings until December last year.

However, thanks to a funding boost from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, the project has been extended.

Project co-ordinator Daniel Clifford, a cultural development officer at the Customs House, said: “I’m over the moon that we were awarded funding by the PCC to continue our Custom Reels screenings until the end of March.

“This project has allowed lots of teenagers in South and North Tyneside to visit our cinema for free – enjoying a cultural experience with similar young people in a safe space – and this funding will mean that even more young people can benefit. The films that our Custom Reels Council programmers have chosen are a great mix – some well-known films and some that aren’t as well known.”

Mrs Baird said: “I was delighted to help this initiative which supports the priorities of my police and crime plan.

“The Customs House is a great community asset and Custom Reels gives young people the opportunity to come together and socialise, as well as providing them with the filming equipment to advance their creative skills and confidence.

“Initiatives like this provide youngsters with diversionary activities which benefit communities, as well as opening up opportunities and new experiences for young people.”

Events start at 4.30pm each week, with films screened from 5pm.

Young adults need to sign up for a Custom Reels Cinema Card to access screenings.

To sign up, go to www.customshouse.co.uk/customreels

You can also sign up in person before a screening.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki