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Youth Documentary Project

As part of the Bayside Film Festival (Wednesday 27 August to Sunday 31 August 2014) two innovative educational filmmaking projects are delivered to secondary students through the Youth Documentary Project. In order to encourage community engagement and ownership of the festival Bayside City Council’s Art and Culture unit developed the Youth Documentary Project in 2005. The Digital Stories Project was piloted in 2006.

The Bayside Youth Documentary and the Digital Stories Projects, both aim to develop skills of investigation and expression through the experience of making short films for inclusion into the film festival.

Since 2005 the Youth Documentary Project is delivered annually to Year 9 and 10 students  
pre-dominantly, within the Bayside municipality. Professional filmmakers work alongside media teachers to deliver film production workshops over a three-month period. The central philosophy behind the Youth Documentary Project is to create a positive environment of technical and creative investigation, encouraging participants to engage with issues that affected them directly or are close to the fields of experience or knowledge relevant to their peer group.

Digital Stories Project

The Digital Stories Project involves students with special needs. Digital Stories are narratives, which provide an insight into a person’s life. The films produced are generally personal, reflective and affirm the importance of understanding individual perspectives in our culture.


Participating students will take ownership of their projects, allowing them to explore and share their thoughts and issues that inspire, challenge and or excite them. By giving students a positive context in which to operate, the intention is to generate a sense of self-confidence and worth for each of its participants.

The Strengths of the YDP


Bringing students together and celebrating their ideas and abilities. The YDP is a celebration of student ideas and abilities as filmmakers and as important members of society. It gives students an understanding of the relevance of their ideas and encourages them to further contribute as artists and social commentators.

Big picture

Reinforcing students as being part of a wider community by participating in something bigger than exists within the school setting, creating a realistic environment in which they are reflected and represented by their own work.

Big screen

The opportunity to screen their completed documentaries on a cinema screen – breaking down the view that the media is just a one-way stream of communication and demonstrating that they can turn it into a dialogue.


Recognition of real brilliance within the project, driving students to surpass previous skill levels. By structuring it with a competition as the end point, the YDP can bring out the best in students. The high  standard of the documentaries produced, works as a motivator for many of the students and future participants in the projects.

Professional support

Through the exposure to professionals in the industry, the YDP allows students first-hand experience with the process of participating in a recognised event, along with the opportunity to hear professionals talk about their own experiences. The YDP gives students the opportunity to develop a firm understanding of a profession that they may have previously never considered.

Professional development

Giving a realistic and credible launching pad for students to begin their careers. Through the creation of a documentary in Years 9 or 10, the YDP provides students with a solid foundation in which to start building their professional folios.

Teacher professional development resources



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2014 YDP Facilitators

Dan Thomas:

Facilitator, Dan Thomas

Dan Thomas has spent more than fifteen years in the television industry in the UK and Australia. He initially worked as a lighting camera operator before discovering a love of editing. After working for several years as a staff editor for the BBC in London, Dan moved to Melbourne and took up work with the ABC.

During the past seven years Dan has worked on a multitude of documentaries, factual series, lifestyle programmes, TV drama and promos for broadcasters including the ABC, SBS, the commercial networks, Foxtel and Discovery Channel. During the past four years and in parallel to his editing career, Dan has produced, directed, shot and edited several short documentaries about artists. available light films

Where Dan will be

Gleneagles Secondary College  
Sandringham College

Dujon Periera:

Facilitator, Dujon Periera

Dujon is a Melbourne based freelance cinematographer and editor. He has produced and directed a number of documentaries, promos, short films and music videos with experience in Australia and abroad. His passion for storytelling through film increases each day. The ability to entertain, educate and emotionally touch a person is addictive, and it is certainly an addiction that he will happily carry for the rest of his life.

Dujon has completed his Advance Diploma in Film & TV at Swinburne in Melbourne. Dujon has also completed his Certificate in Executive Production at Victoria University – Melbourne in 2011, a Certificate in Documentary at AFTRS – Melbourne in 2010 and ACS RAW Master Class Seminar Geoff Boyle FBKS. Optical Alkemi

Where Dujon will be

Footscray City College
Mount Alexander College

Leila Koren:

Facilitator, Leila Koren

Leila Koren is a Documentary filmmaker /Director/ Art Director /Photographer from Melbourne, Australia.

Leila works with the technical and creative sides of filmmaking; directing, shooting and editing films from documentary to music video and visual art. Leila became interested in visual cultural theory and practice while doing her Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Women’s studies and Visual Culture) at Monash University. Then spent several years developing her skills in television production making TV shows on C31 Melbourne. She went on to do a Graduate Diploma in Documentary Filmmaking at VCA which made her look and capture the world around her with new eyes. Recently she has been shooting short documentaries on music and performers for EMI Australia and Ten to Two Records, Treehouse and Melbourne University. She also teaches workshops to adults and students on video production documentary film.

She is currently making a documentary based in Melbourne and Tasmania. Leilion

Where Leila will be

Cheltenham Secondary College,
Collingwood Alternative School 
Dandenong High School

Paul Stanton:

Facilitator, Paul Stanton

Paul Stanton has been animating and teaching animation for five years now. Hired straight out of school, Paul has worked on TVCs, television series, movies and web videos providing digital effects and animated characters. Paul teaches at Swinburne University TAFE, working with students from all walks of life, helping their creativity grow from imagination to the screen.'

Where Paul will be

Mentone Gramar School

Jason Heller:

Jason Heller is a Melbourne based filmmaker, proficient in all aspects of video production. Jason produces narrative and experimental screen-based work for exhibiting artists and regularly produces documentation for various art and community based projects. Recent documentary projects include producing ‘Quietly Settled’, a short documentary about Palestinian-Iraqi refugees, for Amnesty International to present at the UNHCR Refugee Conference in Geneva and ‘Share and Be Aware’ to raise awareness of bicycle safety for motorists. Jason has also been working recently with Polyglot Theatre Company, as an artist in residence as well as producing documentary shorts for the company.

Other recent projects include producing the award winning ‘West Park Proposition’ multi-channel video artwork for artist Ash Keating and music videos for Melbourne groups NO ZU and Lost Animal. Jason has also worked with DVA Theatre Company (disability arts group), Melbourne Workers Theatre, Footscray Community Arts Centre, North Richmond Community Health Centre, Godwin Bradbeer retrospective (Shepparton Art Gallery), Claudio Del Fierro (Chile - South Project), as well as producing ‘What Do You Think Of Me?’ an Isreali/Palestinian art project. Jason is committed to working with community basedorganisations, particularly focussed on human rights and social justice issues. Jason is also an electronic musician who produces bass heavy dub and space music. 

Where Jason will be

Bayley House
Berendale School

Facilitator Timetable

PDF icon Facilitator Timetable (PDF, 137KB)
Facilitator Timetable - editible (EXL, 16KB)

2013 Participants

Congratulations to the schools and students who participated in the 2013 Bayside Film Festival, the festival was a tremendous success, showcasing the product of months of hard work undertaken to by future filmmakers. View the winners...More>  

University High - YDP 2010 Sandringham College,
Beaumaris Campus
- YDP 2011


Youth Documentary Awards

More than 250 students annually are involved in both projects, the majority of these films are screened throughout the Bayside Film Festival at the Palace Brighton Bay. The YDP concludes with the Youth Documentary Awards.

A highlight of both the Youth Documentary and the Digital Stories Projects is their capacity to engage with young people in their social environment whilst providing the broader community with insight into young people’s perspectives. The project differentiates the Bayside Film Festival from other Melbourne film festivals by making and screening films made by young people. This provides a politically powerful platform to a group who usually speak from less powerful positions, and encourages community strengthening through the inclusion of local voices in a festival.  


2012 YDP Achievement Award, Teenage Bodybuilding - Gleneagles Secondary College, Project Team, Ayden Ahiskal, Darnell Santos, Corey Bader & William Marolla


Major Event Partners



Screen Education Magazine corporate logo      Palace Brighton Bay Cinemas corporate logo

Gold Sponsors



Open Channel corporate logo         Victorian College of Art and Music corporate logo




RRR corporate logo Brighton Savoy corporate logo Ludo corporate logo
Cameraquip corporate logo Holiday World Travel corporate logo Madman corporate logo  
Youth Services corporate logo Hocking Stuart corporate logo Act Belong Commit corporate logo  
Kiwanis corporate logo  

YDP web footer artwork


Page last updated: 10 Jun 2014

Sandringham College,
Highett Campus -
YDP 2009

YDP 2010


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