Minister for Children and Youth Affairs opens second annual youth-led CAST Film Festival

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs opens second annual youth-led CAST Film Festival

The event showcased 15 short films, which have been shortlisted from the 40 entered by budding filmmakers from across the country and is the result of a Young Social Innovators (YSI) project called First Aid for the Mind. The Collinstown students challenged all organisations, from secondary schools to senior citizens groups to make a five minute film which explores the social issue of mental health through a positive lens. The theme "Break the Mould" refers to looking at mental health in a unique way, which is exactly what these films do by examining possible triggers and identifying realistic and viable solutions, all in an engaging and original format. Photo Credit: Derek Speirs

Noel Kelly is a teacher at Collinstown and also the YSI guide. "It’s just been a mind-blowing experience for me and the kids, seeing what groups have come up with, the ways they’ve explored the issues, we’ve gotten animated films, documentaries, fictional stories and films documenting the development of art projects, it’s just so uplifting. This is a completely unique event.’

The event took place in the Green Isle Hotel where the panel of judges, which includes former RTE Producer Director Paul Cusack. This year there is a special award, introduced by the parents of Donal Walsh, the Kerry teenager who tragically died from cancer in May 2013. Donal wrote about his struggle against cancer and how important it is to live life to the full. His father will announce the winner of the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Award.

Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Young Social Innovators, Rachel Collier believes, "We often underestimate the potential of young people. This youth driven film festival shows us what can happen when we tap into their vision and energy". The Film Festival is supported by the Young Social Innovators’ Den, which awards money, means and mentoring from its Social Innovation Fund. Last year these funds were raised by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, which is the official partner of Young Social Innovators. The festival is also supported by a large number of agencies involved in the area of mental health prevention and awareness.

Speaking about the CAST Film Festival Natalie Hodgess of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation says, "We are proud to support the CAST Film Festival through our partnership with YSI and our employee mentor, Lai Arogundade. CAST is a fantastic example of young people finding creative ways to tackle very real issues in Ireland. This festival is making great strides towards encouraging people to talk and therefore breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health in Ireland. Well done to all involved."
Photo Credit: Derek Speirs

The 2013 CAST Film Festival award for Significant Impact was presented to Cross and Passion college for their film Reach Out.

About the CAST Film Festival
The Cast Film Festival is the brainchild of a group of students from Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. The event was set up by teams of Young Social Innovators from the school and began as a small school based project to inform the school and local community about ways to create positive mental health. The first Cast Film Festival was a small event, which took place in Collinstown Park Community College in April 2011. This was followed by a major event in October 2012, which was attended by over 500 people in the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley. Last year the title Significant Contribution to Mental Health was awarded to Ronanstown Youth Service for their film called 5 a Day to Mental Health.