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Apr 3

From Hull to Hollywood: Goodwin Trust project wins documentary film award

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Well, having finally been unseated after a decade long reign as the ‘crappiest’ town in England and installed as the UK City of Culture, Hull’s transition to the Hullywood of England looks to be only a short step away.

A group of young people who arrived in the UK as refugees from war zones across Africa and the Middle East and settled on the Thornton estate in Hull have just won a major documentary film award at a star-studded red-carpet prize ceremony for the Into Film Awards at London’s Leicester Square. The award was presented to them by none other than movie star Daniel Craig – known to millions as James Bond in the billion-pound film franchise.

Into Film Awards 2017 Highlights from Into Film on Vimeo.

Part of the Goodwin Development Trust’s Estate of the Nation initiative, the young people made the film Miracle Life themselves with some technical support from Hull-based production company My Pockets and investment from Into Film. The group had been involved in different projects at Goodwin: Two-Way Street, Haven and Darley’s Youth and Arts Space – but were brought together by Goodwin youth workers Kingsley Henderson and Lloyd Dobbs.

Miracle Life is a gloriously life affirming film full of hope, humour and creativity during which I defy you not to laugh and cry in equal measure. In it, this remarkable group of young people tell their stories of moving to the UK to begin new lives, detailing the surprises they experienced here and the simple joys to be had of living in a country with zebra crossings, naked trees and a surfeit of pigeons and conclude that Hull isn’t that crap after all!

Neither shaken, nor stirred

Despite the glare of cameras and paparazzi, the winning young film-makers took it all in their stride.

Hodari aged 17 said: “I would just like to thank Goodwin, they gave me an opportunity which I will remember for my life. I would like to thank Kingsley for helping me on the course and supporting me and would like to also thank Lloyd for taking me to London. This is one of my proudest moments.”

Perhaps the whole glorious experience was best summed up by Hani who said: “The most beautiful day of my life – it was a beautiful day.”

You can watch the award-winning film here:

The filmmakers after their big win:

by Peter McGurn, CEO Goodwin Development Trust

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