Refugee drama filmed in for­mer Perthshire pris­oner of war camp

Mini-drama telling story of a boy who flees his home coun­try will be used to teach peo­ple who sup­port mi­grants

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - EMMA CRICH­TON ecrich­[email protected]­courier.co.uk

A drama which will be used to teach aid work­ers about the plight faced by refugee chil­dren has been filmed in Perthshire this week.

The cast and crew of Ed­in­burgh­based Freak Films shot a range of scenes at Cul­ty­brag­gan Camp in Com­rie over three days.

Film-mak­ers said the for­mer pris­oner of war camp was the per­fect lo­ca­tion for their mini-drama about a young refugee try­ing des­per­ately to reach Europe from his home coun­try.

Sinead Kir­wan, pro­ducer at Freak Films, said: “This set­ting is per­fect be­cause we are repli­cat­ing a de­ten­tion cen­tre and tran­sit camps in dif­fer­ent parts of the world.

“We haven’t worked here be­fore, even crew mem­bers who have shot all over Scot­land, but we thought it looked great.”

The drama will be bro­ken into six parts, to be shown to stu­dents of an on­line child pro­tec­tion course run by Strath­clyde Uni­ver­sity and the Cen­tre for Ex­cel­lence for Looked Af­ter Chil­dren in Scot­land (CEL­CIS).

It tells the story of a 15-year-old boy called Aden who des­per­ately flees his home coun­try when his life is put in dan­ger.

He en­ters eastern Europe but has to leave again and en­ter via Africa af­ter a ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Mas­sive Open On­line Course (MOOC) is open to peo­ple all over the world and teaches any­one in­volved in sup­port­ing child refugees or mi­grants.

At the end of each ses­sion, one of the episodes will be aired to help stu­dents see what they have learnt from the refugee’s per­spec­tive.

Dr Chrissie Gale, in­ter­na­tional lead in CEL­CIS at Strath­clyde Uni­ver­sity, said: “The course is for any­one in the world who of­fers pro­tec­tion and al­ter­na­tive care for chil­dren as they move.

“It helps bor­der guards, po­lice, so­cial work­ers and refugee camp work­ers to un­der­stand in­ter­na­tional laws, but more than that how they can im­prove their work to sup­port and pro­tect chil­dren.

“Each week the drama il­lus­trates what has been taught on the course that week.

“It’s a re­ally in­ter­est­ing way of keep­ing stu­dents ex­cited and to show them vis­ually what they have been learn­ing about.

“This is some­thing fairly unique and it’s some­thing Strath­clyde is start­ing to spe­cialise in but this is the first time we have worked with a pro­fes­sional film com­pany.”

Pic­tures: Steve MacDougall.

Left: A crew mem­ber at Cul­ty­brag­gan Camp. Above: Dr Chrissie Gale, project creator.

Lead ac­tor Mo­hamad Khalil with Dr Chrissie Gale and the film’s di­rec­tor, Jonny Blair, pre­par­ing to shoot a scene.

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