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News: Custom Reels Project at South Shields Customs House

Lights, Camera, Action…For New Film Scheme
Custom Reels Film Council enjoying a free film.
South Shields Customs House

Young film fans can take a look behind the scenes and enjoy free cinema trips thanks to a new project. The Customs House in South Shields have launched Custom Reels to give 13 to 19 year-olds unique cinema opportunities.

Film project intern Alex Whelan said: “The Customs House is providing a great opportunity for young people to experience cinema like they never have before. Whether they are a film lover or would like to find out more about the behind-the-scenes,
Customs Reels is a great group which will provide them with this unique chance.”

The launch event took place on Thursday, October 2 and gave teenagers interested in film and cinema the opportunity to meet the team and find out more about the project. The group will come together regularly to develop a cinema programme geared at young people by selecting the right films and marketing them to borough teenagers. The project will also see free screening run for eight weeks every Tuesday from October 21 until December 9.

Hayln Heir, Erin Moffett & Jayden Blacklock part of the Custom Reels Film Council.
Films on offer will be shortlisted by a group of young adults and voted on by the new audience. The project offers young people a Custom Reels cinema card which entitles them to the free screenings as well as £2.50 tickets at The Customs House following the eight week scheme. The group will also have the chance to make their own film culminating in the first Custom Reels Film Festival on Saturday, December 6.

Jess Bassett, 18, from South Shields has already signed up to the project. She said:
“I became involved because I thought it was a really exciting idea to organise cinema screenings and a film festival. It’s a great chance to learn something new and enjoy the cinema for free in my home town.”

The Mayor of South Tyneside Cllr Fay Cunningham, who will be attending Thursday’s event, said: “This is a worthwhile initiative which raises young people’s aspirations, equips them with valuable new skills and enhances their employability. By taking part in this scheme, young people can broaden their horizons and share a love of culture. By nurturing the talents of our young people, this project may even turn out a new generation of stars to follow in the footsteps of South Tyneside’s legends such as award-winning director Ridley Scott, Monty Python’s Eric Idle and leading actress Dame Flora Robson.”

Custom Reels is supported by Film Hub North, the Bridge North East R&D Fund (managed by Tyneside Cinema), Arts Council England and South Tyneside Council.  Daniel Clifford, Cultural Development Assistant who is overseeing the project, added: “Thanks to our funders we are able to provide this excellent opportunity to young people, to see a range of free films, get affordable cinema, gain experience in programming cinema and even take part in free trips.”

Custom Reels is an initiative of The Customs House – a combined arts venue located on the banks of the River Tyne in South Shields.

To find out more about the project please contact Alex on 0191 427 8193 or

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