The Playhouse launched a short educational film this week that aims to build awareness around the issue of paramilitarism in Northern Ireland.
The short film, ‘Recruited', written by writer Colin Bateman, aims to warn young people about paramilitary influence.
Paramilitary activities have recently increased significantly in Derry and Belfast with young people under 18 years of age being recruited by both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.
The film was launched on Monday night (December 18) at The Playhouse. Launching the film, Michael McEvoy from the Department of Justice expressed the Northern Ireland Executive's commitment to tackling this issue.
Following the screening of the film, a panel discussion was led by Paul Smyth, who has devoted his career to working with, and advocating for young people. Paul is part of a group who campaign to stop paramilitary attacks. Also in the panel discussion were PSNI Sergeant Terry McKenna, screenwriter Colin Bateman and former Minister of Justice Claire Sugden.
The panel debated issues arising from the film with the audience, which included young people from Ballymagoarty & Hazelbank Community Partnership, St Mary's Youth Club, Enagh Youth Forum and the Quaker Cottage Belfast. Also in the audience were PSNI Officers, representatives from the Youth Justice Agency, Police Community Safety Partnership, Department of Justice, Probation Board as well as community activists, and the film's cast and crew.
"The arts provide a platform to explore complex social and political issues", the film's Producer Elaine Forde said.
"'Recruited' has enabled youth workers, young people, police and others members of the justice system to have a frank and honest conversation."
The film was produced by Elaine Forde from The Playhouse, directed by Declan Keeney from Island Hill Productions, filmed by Chis Byrne from Pillarpix Media, and features a whole host of local acting talent.
The film was funded by the Department of Justice through the Policing and Community Safety Partnership Assets Recovery Community Scheme, BBC Children In Need, The Department of Foreign Affairs and a private donation through The Ireland Funds. The Playhouse is core funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Derry City & Strabane District Council and the Community Relations Council.
The film is available via YouTube by CLICKING HERE. Please note- Contains strong language and violence
More information is available on (028)71268027.