“If we are willing to walk in the shoes of others, we can live their knowledge and feel their experiences.”

Over 200 young people (aged 8-25), from across the Causeway area, have been involved in the production of a cross-community, contemporary youth film project, re-telling and engraving local stories into 6 short films, with the ‘premiere’ being hosted at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, on Tuesday 22 August.

Event host, Sarah Travers, former BBC News Journalist & TV Presenter, welcomed participants and family members to the special screening and spoke to some of the young cast members about their experience during a fireside chat before the films played to the audience. Young Heidi Walsh-Anderson, also performed a heartwarming solo version from the film’s soundtrack.

Delivered by Outside the Box NI, the Walk in My Shoes youth film project is part of the community outreach engagement work of the Bushmills Courthouse Shared Space Creative Hub project.

The theme of walking in others’ shoes underpins the 6 films, which aim to celebrate and promote the rich and diverse heritage of Bushmills and the Causeway Coast.

Each film tells a unique story, drawing inspiration from local landscapes, people, traditions, stories and cultures and allowed participants to step into the shoes of their ancestors and embrace the shared heritage of their community.

Everything in these films has been developed by the young people involved; from props and costumes to dance routines, music, film production and acting,” said Jayne Taggart, CEO of Enterprise Causeway. “This project is an impressive testament to the creativity, talent and dedication of our young people and listening to their experiences, conveys a real journey of self-discovery and cultural exploration, which is what we had hoped for when designing the project.”

Also reflecting on their experience was Kathy Anderson, co-owner of Outside the Box NI, who stated: “We planned everything to ensure participants got to walk in their ancestors’ shoes, to truly appreciate and enjoy our shared heritage.

“We purposely crafted workshops to motivate and challenge the young participants, whilst building skills and a sense of pride within themselves. It was pure joy to watch them really connect with the material and to get involved in the filmmaking process, as well as bond with professional tutors and their peers. We couldn’t be prouder of them and the finished films and our hope is not only for these films to be a lasting legacy to their talent, but that it encourages them to explore and further their professional careers.”

Speaking about his direct experience, participant Evan Millar reflected: “I loved the special effects make-up masterclass with well-known industry professional Anita Brolly, especially getting to do the dancers make-up for the filming of the Dunluce Banshee. I also got to improve my improvising skills as part of the acting workshop.

“These experiences, the people I met and worked with, gave me the confidence and drive I needed to realise my dream of pursuing a career in film and special effects make-up.

“Shortly after finishing the project, Anita offered me some part-time work, which was such an unbelievable opportunity! I also got offered a job in a local hair salon, that I wouldn’t have dreamed of getting had I not had this fantastic experience in doing hair and make-up for film.

“I’m so thankful and determined, more than ever, to succeed, even enrolling onto a hair and beauty course at college to further enhance my skills. It’s really ignited my passion and truly given me more opportunities than I could ever have imagined!”

The €7.8m Courthouse Shared Space Creative Hub is anticipated to open in the spring of 2024 and has been funded through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Match-funding has been provided by the Department for Communities, Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development, Ireland.

The community engagement programme (which this project is part of) is running in parallel with the renovation and construction works, creating opportunities for shared learning experiences to explore and understand cultures, traditions and backgrounds.

For updates on The Courthouse Shared Space Creative Hub project visit: https://www.enterprisecauseway.co.uk/the-courthouse/ or follow on Facebook @thecourthousepeaceiv


View the short films produced:

  1. Bushmills Courthouse: https://vimeo.com/857076521


  1. The Story of the Dunluce Banshee: https://vimeo.com/857077257


  1. John McAlaster and the Fuldew Stone: https://vimeo.com/857077458


  1. The Auld Lammas Fair: https://vimeo.com/857078421


  1. The Armoy Hiring Fair: https://vimeo.com/857078746


  1. A New Chapter: https://vimeo.com/857079085

Sofia McAuley celebrates at the premiere of the youth film – a Walk in my Shoes. Sofia took part in acting workshops and shooting scenes for the Armoy Hiring Fair film, and the group ensemble in Bushmills.

Lights, Camera, Action! Enjoying the screening of the youth film – a Walk in my Shoes – are (L-R) Oonagh McEwan, Outside the Box NI; Jayne Taggart, Enterprise Causeway; Sarah Travers; and Kathy Anderson, Outside the Box NI.

Cinematic expression on screening night from young Gabriella Willenbrock, who took part in creative workshops and filming for the Walk in my Shoes production.

Enjoying some popcorn at the screening in the Riverside Theatre.

Event host, Sarah Travers, introduced the audience to the short films produced as part of the youth film project – a Walk in my Shoes.

Screen dreams and silver screens – young participants watch their work on the big screen at the Riverside Theatre, as part of the premiere of the ‘a Walk in my Shoes’ youth film production.

Kathy Anderson from Outside the Box NI (left) shares her experience of delivering the creative workshops, shooting at various filming locations across the Causeway area and her takeaways on the short films produced by young participants.

Sofia McAuley recounts her filming experience in Cultra as part of the Hiring Fair film to event host Sarah Travers.

Dana Dunlop-Stevenson tells event host, Sarah Travers, and the audience, of her favourite workshop – special effects make-up, but also, of the fun she had learning dance routines and shooting the film for the Auld Lammas Fair.

Caoimhe Flemin discusses her narration work in the Armoy Hiring Fair film, as well as the group ensemble in Bushmills.

Evan Millar attended the special effects make-up workshop with renowned make-up artist, Anita Brolly, in February, and returned in May to apply the make-up to the dancers for the Story of the Dunluce Banshee. Evan impressed so much, he is now working with Anita, as well as being offered a full-time job in a local hair salon.

Caitlin Bell-Porter gives the audience an insight into filming the dance scenes for the story of the Dunluce Banshee.

A Walk in my Shoes (a cross-community, contemporary youth film project) premieres at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine. Audience members look-on at the Bushmills Courthouse film, depicting the story of a boy meeting its last resident, Rachel Galbraith.

Audience members enjoy watching the short films produced by over 200 young participants as part of the Bushmills Courthouses’ youth film project – a Walk in my Shoes. The project was delivered by Outside the Box NI.

Young participants involved in producing the Walk in my Shoes youth film join event host, Sarah Travers, as well as local Bushmills men, Harry Anderson (right of Sarah) and Frank Scott. Frank provided the films narration and also stared in the Bushmills Courthouse video, depicting the story of the last known resident of the Courthouse. Also pictured are Kathy Anderson and Oonagh McEwan (back row) and Cathy McGarry (far right), Communications and Events Officer, Enterprise Causeway.

Oscar-worthy night for the premiere of a Walk in my Shoes at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine. Over 200 young people (aged 8-25), from across the Causeway area, were involved in the production of this cross-community, contemporary youth film, organised as part of the community outreach engagement work of the Bushmills Courthouse project.