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Paisley Movie Makers’ film to go on display at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall

A film created by a talented group of Movie Makers and photographers showcasing Paisley and its past is to go on display at the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive in the Kelvin Hall.

Paisley Movie Makers’ film to go on display at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall

The Movie Makers and photography groups at Paisley’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC), which is run by Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, joined forces to create the short film called Paisley Then and Now.

The movie, which took three months to make, features footage of Paisley from the 1940s and 1950s, taken from the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive, interspersed with photographs of what landmarks from the old footage look like today.

Clips include a street party for the Queen’s 1953 coronation, shots of Coats of Paisley and footage of workers returning to the town.

The Moving Image Archive, which worked with the groups to create the movie, will now showcase the film on its community boards in the newly refurbished Kelvin Hall, Glasgow later this year.

Jim Thomson, a multimedia and assistive technology specialist who started the Movie Makers group at the DRC seven years ago, said: “We’re delighted that the film is going to go on display.

“We worked with the Moving Image Archive to create the film and went through the archives segments they had of Paisley looking for backgrounds that we recognised. We took freeze frames of these images, put them on peoples’ phones and went out to try and take similar shots. We then had to go through the images we’d taken to see which ones were close to the original footage.

“The groups are very excited about it. It’s nice to know that the film got that recognition from the Moving Image Archive and that it’s going to be made public at such an invaluable resource. The Moving Image Archive is wonderful.”

The Movie Makers and Photography groups, which are part of the Renfrewshire Disability Arts Forum, give people with disabilities the chance to learn new digital skills such as sound, video and picture editing.

The Council launched its digital participation strategy, aimed at promoting digital inclusion by helping those who face digital exclusion first, in September 2016. Digital exclusion is a problem that often affects people on low incomes, older adults and people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

The groups have also had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of their members, using culture to transform their lives for the better.

Duncan Townson, 65, who is a member of both the Movie Makers and photography groups, said: “Going to the DRC has been life changing. I’ve learned new skills that I never had before and I’m not frightened to go on a computer.

“You never think you’ll be the same again when you get hit with a disability. Before I would go to the front door and think I’m not going out, my mental health was really bad but the DRC pulled me through.

“I’m tickled pink that the film is going to be shown at the Kelvin Hall. It makes me feel good to know that we are actually doing something that people are coming to see.”

Creating opportunities and improving lives through digital and cultural activities is a key aspect of Paisley’s bid for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition run by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture & Sport. As part of this approach, the Council recently provided the funding for the DRC to refresh the equipment in its assisted technology suite.

With Paisley’s bid in full swing, bid director Jean Cameron says now is the perfect time to get involved in groups like Movie Makers and the photography group which are using culture to change lives.

She said: “The Movie Makers and photography groups at the DRC show the huge difference that culture and digital can make to the lives, health and wellbeing of people in Renfrewshire.

“The groups have created a brilliant film that shows what Paisley has to offer. They should be very proud and I can’t wait to see it on display in the Kelvin Hall.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate the groups for creating a video that showcases Paisley and its people.

“The Council and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership are committed to tackling digital exclusion in Renfrewshire, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to reach their digital potential. The work of the Movie Makers and photography groups shows just what can be achieved when people who are at risk of digital exclusion are given an opportunity to learn new digital skills.”