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ScreenPLAY is a social enterprise. We believe in enabling and empowering people through arts activity.

Giving people a voice, through film and arts projects helps develop life skills, confidence and self esteem while reducing exclusion and inequality. Young people become more active partners in their own education, developing knowledge for later life. The people we work with are at the heart of our films, making a difference to their schools, neighbourhoods and wider communities. The range of our work has grown to include making seafront banners with children in schools, an immersive ‘healing journey’ in a remote Dorset landscape using mobile digital technologies. Our projects create a sense of place in which those taking part become co-creators of the work.

ScreenPLAY works with young people to give them the digital skills they need for work, for their future education and for 21st century life. Our Silver Arts Award in Film and Digital production - hailed as an ‘excellent series of high quality arts experiences’ - offers young people a level 2 GCSE A-C equivalent qualification read more

The techniques at the heart of our work are what we call our ‘dramatherapy approach’ to filmmaking, developed by ScreenPLAY Co-director Sharon Hayden who is a practicising dramatherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Using skilled facilitators, we create a safe space for participants and enable them to tell their stories through drama, art and film.

The need for our work with young people is well supported by academic research. Emotional health in childhood is the most important contributing factor in young people’s future satisfaction and happiness in life, according to Professor Richard Layard and the Wellbeing research project at the London School of Economics (What Predicts a Successful Life - A Life-Course model of Well-being, Economic Journal Nov 2014).

ScreenPLAY has delivered several projects in partnership with Jigsaw PSHE, developers of the Jigsaw scheme of social and emotional learning for primary and secondary schools.

"We wanted to give you the idea that you are not watching it - you are part of the story."
Tia - Jigsaw Jenie My Hero

Rites of Way with Mr Hardy

Come with us on a wellbeing journey through the woods at Thomas Hardy’s Birthplace. Point your phone camera at the QR code and click to listen. Let Hardy’s words and the Celtic tree tales heighten your feelings about this extraordinary place. more…

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The Resilient - watch now

A ship in peril - a crew forbidden to dock - a cabin boy terrified of climbing the mast...
The Resilient, a film by children at St John’s Primary School in Weymouth has its web premiere in October 2022.
A nice warm bed wouldn’t do us any harm, sing the homeward-bound crew of the tall ship Resilient but will they make it when storms threaten to dash them onto the treacherous Chesil beach?
The film, a response to the Covid pandemic, gave children opportunities to do the creative and collaborative activities they couldn’t do during lockdown.
Film professionals from arts organisation ScreenPLAY worked with every year group creating the drama and bringing it to life in a classroom transformed into a studio.
“It’s easy to forget how much our children missed out on during the pandemic, when they had lessons on Zoom and much less creative and collaborative working,” explained ScreenPLAY co-director Alastair Nisbet. “We brought in artists to work on scriptwriting, music and song writing, set painting, drama devising, production - all the elements of filmmaking.”
The project, based in two mobile classrooms became known among the children as “Film School”.
Artists included local scriptwriter Phoebe Coombs, set designer Clare Munford, musician Kathie Prince, drama director Sharon Hayden and music producer Sean Kirby.
One of the biggest challenges was to film crew members climbing the ship’s mast. “Working with former movie industry set painter Clare Munford they made and painted a mast out of cardboard tubes and rigged it with sails and ropes in the school hall,” explained Alastair.
Another group wrote a song, ‘Climb High’ with musical director Kathie Prince, in which an older crew member urges: “Never look down, never look back, Get to the top you’re on the right track”.
Headteacher Amanda Aze said the project had been a year in the making. “It’s been extraordinary to see areas of our school turned into parts of a tall ship. We knew we wanted to do something special to get children working creatively together, and this project has been a wonderful creative and learning experience for them.”

The project, in partnership with the school’s PTA, was made with funding from Dorset Council’s Community and Culture Fund,
Bishop Wordsworth Educational Trust and Jigsaw PSHE.