Come to Forres – Youngsters go on film to welcome visitors to the town

A video to welcome people to Forres has been made by a group of youngsters from a local drama group.

Six young ambassadors from the Highland Youth Theatre took part in a project as part of the Forres Conservation and Heritage Scheme to make a short film with the help of Moray Arts Development Engagement, Helen Avenell Heritage Associates, LDN Architects and Jason Sinclair Films.

The result is a five-minute film highlighting the history and landmarks of the town, including Grant Park, St Laurence Church, the Tolbooth and the Thomson Monument.

Welcome to Forres

The film start with the team of six shouting ‘Welcome to Forres’ and then leads the viewer on a trail through the town.

Stacey Toner from Moray Arts Development Engagement said: “Stage one is to engage with the local community and myself and Helen found that young people are often disengaged from community surveys, community drop-in events particularly around heritage and history.

“The way we reached young people was through Highland Youth Theatre, so all who took part, also participate in the youth theatre, and we organised a day with myself, Helen, and Jason Sinclair of Jason Sinclair Films, and the brief was very vague and very open, and it was a case of, we’re going to make a short film.”

So the brief was… ‘to think about it as a tourist ad for Forres, and to highlight what you think are the best bits of the place that you live.’

Personal choice

The day was a mix of mind maps and group conversations, discussing what the town has to offer, what spaces people use, how they interact with the town, and each individual picked one area that resonated with them personally.

In the film, each young person chose a space, attraction or venue as one that means something to them personally.

Stacey added: “For MADE as an organisation, it’s been really interesting to work more meaningfully in Forres.

“We normally work across Moray, but it can be quite sporadic. So to have had the opportunity to work with local communities in this town has been great for us.

“The way that we’ve worked with these young people mirrors other projects that we’ve done that are similar and it’s just really nice to see how the young people actually do really like and love their place.

“It was just nice to see the energy and almost the awareness grow during the day.”

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