My experience at Tyneside Cinema’s Documentary Academy

Written by on 14th December 2018

Words by Hebe Fryer

On Monday, December, 10, I was lucky enough to attend my very own film premiere, at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.

I was one of 15 young people from all over the North East to meet every Saturday from September to December as part of Tyneside Cinema’s Documentary Academy.

Our task was  to create four short documentaries about subjects we’re passionate about. Throughout the process, we were set with the task of pitching, planning, filming, and editing our own documentaries, which were then, finally, presented to an audience of family, friends, contributors, and industry professionals.

The documentaries that we produced were: ‘The Accidental Activist’, ‘Face Value’, ‘Motus’, and ‘Tolerance’, which each tackle a variety of topics and issues. I was working on ‘Tolerance’, a film about the lasting impact of religious persecution, as producer and sound director, alongside Joe Thornton (director) and Abigail Buck (camera).

In our film we had the honour of interviewing Marta Josephs, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, who moved to the North East after fleeing the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. Her story is moving, and touches upon the ever-prevalent issue of religious intolerance, both in and out of the UK.

The programme is run by Tyneside Cinema and sponsored by Intu, owners of the Metrocentre and Eldon Square, who have since committed to funding the 2019 Documentary Academy.

Intu’s Corporate Responsibility Director, Alexander Nicoll, said:

“Every year we are delighted and amazed by the quality of the films and the calibre of the young talent in our region.

“As ever, this evening’s premiere has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate that talent and put the spotlight on the young filmmakers who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and creativity throughout the programme.

“Everyone at intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre are proud of our partnership with Tyneside Cinema.”

Working together to create these films has been an unforgettable experience that I’d highly recommend to anybody considering taking part in next year’s academy. All four documentaries mentioned will soon be available on

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