articles about Engage film

01/07/2014 ForcesWatch comment

On Thursday 26 June 2014, we launched our new short documentary film 'Engage: the military and young people', at Friends House in London. A packed and diverse audience watched the film, which was very well-received. Speakers included Ben Griffin, founder of Veterans for Peace UK, Sam Hepworth from Headliners (the youth journalists charity who made the film) and some of the young filmmakers, and Owen Everett, Education Campaign worker at ForcesWatch.

23/06/2014 ForcesWatch press release

A week after the government pledged a further £1 million for more cadet forces in state secondary schools, a new film is launched which shows that many young people are critical of the promotion of military activities in their schools.

ForcesWatch are working with the charity Headliners, who work with 8-18 year olds, to make the film about young people's encounters with the military (i.e. the UK Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence), and what they think of them.

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The film will give young people a voice on how they feel about the involvement of the military in their lives - from advertising campaigns, the entertainment and gaming industries to visits by the armed forces to schools and colleges and public events such as Armed Forces Day, and much more. The military spend many millions each year attracting young people in order to recruit them or to give them a positive view of the armed forces. This film is a chance for young people to tell them what they think about this. It will encourage them to reflect on and debate why the military is so keen to engage with them. As far as we are aware nothing like this has ever been made in the UK.


A short film made by Headliners and ForcesWatch, 2014


Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.

The film focuses on military activities in schools, including presentations and other visits by the armed forces and the Department for Education's 'Military Ethos in Schools' policy - as well as community cadet forces. It looks at young people's experiences and views and ask questions about the agenda behind the 'youth engagement' policy and the reluctance of the Department for Education and Ministry of Defence to discuss it with young people themselves.

This film will encourage young people to reflect on and debate military-related activities aimed at them.