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Nobody is a Nobody - A new short film
March 23rd, 2018
Homelessness worker and musician Simon Balsillie has made a remarkable film with a cast of formerly homeless people he has worked with over the past decade.
Simon, who works as a progression coach supporting young people at Depaul House in Whitley Bay, conceived Nobody is a Nobody as a project to promote his employer, homelessness charity Depaul UK. The Depaul group supports people facing homelessness around the world and runs an international training programme for staff.
He said: “I applied for the programme and, as a result, I spent time in Paris, Dublin and England learning about putting Depaul’s values into practice. At the end of the programme, all the participants were asked to come up with a project that would be useful to the charity.
“I decided to make a short film portraying homeless people wearing masks. At the end, their faces are revealed – and also the jobs they are now doing.”
Simon would like viewers to interpret the film for themselves, but adds that the people being unmasked in the end sequence of the short film are all either former or current users of Depaul services who have progressed in positive directions since their involvement with Depaul, regaining their identity within society.
Depaul UK, whose North East operations are based in Whitley Bay, is a national youth homelessness charity that provides more than 125,000 bed-nights a year for homeless and vulnerable young people. It also runs the Nightstop emergency accommodation network, which receives support from a wide range of funders including players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
In the film, musician Simon, as his “alter ego” Angularman, performs a rap song, also called Nobody Is A Nobody, and Rosa Graham sings Boogie Brown Town, with lyrics about homelessness and social exclusion.
He added: “People who have seen the film on YouTube have said they were very moved by it. From my perspective, its purpose is to reach viewers who may be unaware of Depaul on an emotional level.
“It communicates something of the values and essence of Depaul in a creative way.”
Nobody Is A Nobody can viewed on the Depaul UK YouTube channel here.
Media Contact: Ollie Wilson, Depaul UK - Oliver.Wilson@depaulcharity.org.uk or 07823 412127