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Video will encourage young people to vote 13 June 2011

A VIDEO will encourage young people to exercise their right to vote in the House of Keys general election on 29th September.

‘What’s the Point?’ was made in a single day by first year media students at the Isle of Man College and will be shown on electronic noticeboards at the five secondary schools and at the College in the weeks leading up to the poll. Voting video

Featuring students silently holding up signs, the thought-provoking video highlights some of the issues that might motivate young people to vote. It can be seen at https://www2.sch.im/

The Island led the way on giving the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in 2006 and many – around 900 in secondary schools alone – will be able to place a cross in the box of their preferred candidate this September.

Adrian Cowin, lecturer in multi-media and photography at the Isle of Man College, explained:

‘The students involved in producing the film are on a two-year media course, which enables them to study graphics, sound, video, photography and animation and then continue on to degree level at university.
‘Planning and managing this project and participating in collaborative work helped provide valuable experience and improve the students’ grades.
‘There was a tight deadline and it was a mammoth logistical undertaking. It involved all our first year media students filming in more than 20 locations around Douglas and Onchan,’ Adrian said. ‘Each student was thoroughly involved in the activity, planning, filming and acting in the video. The acting only involved holding a sign and looking serious, but that can be quite a challenge with a camera close to your face and the wind threatening to take you and the sign to Kansas.
‘We produced a very high-quality video in a remarkably short time and the students found it enjoyable, especially the group work and dealing with contemporary issues.’

The video starts by asking the questions ‘why should I care?’ and ‘can I actually make a difference?’ before prompts about suffragettes and apartheid remind young people of the sacrifices made by others to ensure democracy.

The students had input into the election issues that would be featured. The list included jobs housing, transport, education, climate change, recycling and litter, crime, health, things to do and money and tax.

Martin Barrow, Senior Adviser with the Department of Education and Children, said care was taken to highlight only general issues rather than give the video a political slant.

‘The idea was to encourage young people who will have a say in a House of Keys election for the first time to start thinking about the very fact they are free to vote as well as to consider the issues that matter to them and might motivate them to turn out on polling day.’

The deadline to register to vote is 8th September. Telephone 685754, email economics@gov.im or visit http://www.gov.im/cso/election/

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