The PLAYING IT SAFE project was initiated by Edmonton filmmaker Terri Wynnyk, who proposed that the National Film Board North West Studio produce a video about youth living in risky lifestyles and ways they try to stay safe. In the development phase, partly funded by Health Canada’s Drug Strategy and Community Initiatives Fund, Alberta Region and Streetworks Edmonton, it was decided that the PLAYING IT SAFE project would become a web story-telling creation. It would be designed to allow high-risk youth to tell their stories on film to demonstrate how they reduce the harm in their own lives. We wanted the overall message of the PLAYING IT SAFE project to tell youth on the street that they matter, that they have the strength to care about themselves, and that there is support for them in the community.
The young filmmakers each have their own page such as this one Wesley’s Story
Films are conceived and directed by the youth themselves and content will be added weekly. You can also follow the Playing it Safe blog.
One of the things I learned from youth in Edmonton was about the importance of friends and community. You know, one of the conventional wisdoms in HR is cutting people off from their community. But if you look at the community they have built, you see that one by one haul they haul each other up, they take care of each other. They have a sense of community and belonging, and often it’s much more powerful, and more forgiving [than what they may get otherwise].