Peter Melrose is a Ballina born documentary film-maker. Growing Strong, his documentary recently picked up a Best Overall Production award at his degree showcase in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin. The documentary explores Integrated Education in Derry City.
“We are excited about the project, and production companies have already been in touch about a longer version for TV/feature,” said Peter, who also won a production placement with Screen Producers Ireland, which he hope will lead to more opportunities for Growing Strong.
Peter describes himself as a ‘proud Mayo man’ who thinks that film-makers from rural areas should be promoted as much as possible.
“Integrated Education is an education model in Northern Ireland that attempts to bring the divided Nationalist and Unionists communities together by accepting children from all backgrounds and faiths to learn, play and grow together.
“My observational documentary was shot in Derry in March 2018, and follows the students of the Primary Seven class in Oakgrove Integrated Primary School. Through activities and interactions, we see the life and atmosphere of the school unfurl in front of us, and the benefit of moving forward together towards a shared future. Issues of religious and racial diversity are tackled by the robust and articulate class, who uniquely engage in and discuss life in the school. The children are the heartbeat of the film, and their openness to others in all aspects is refreshing, uplifting and ultimately, inspiring.”
The film is produced by Adam Stanley and Peter said it was inspired by films such as Irish feature School Life (Neasa Ní Chianáin, 2017) and French film Être et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert, 2002).