Young documentary makers short films on AWPR/B-T to go to public vote


Two short films created by North-east school pupils have been shortlisted in a competition to celebrate the opening of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project.

The films by pupils at Inverurie Academy and Bucksburn Academy will now go to an online vote, with members of the public being invited to choose their favourite film by Friday, August 31.

The film with the highest number of votes will be shown at the Road Festival to celebrate the opening of the AWPR/B-T, over September 8-9.

The competition is part of the GoNorthEast campaign, which was launched to underline the benefits of this transformational project and show how these will positively impact on people’s lives and the future of businesses, small and large across the North-east.

The campaign is supported by three key themes, #GoConnect, #GoSafer and #GoGreener, and the teams were asked to focus on one of these themes when producing their documentaries.

Around 40 pupils from six schools took part in a film-making workshop at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on June 19, where they received hints and tips from some of the most experienced documentary makers in the north-east of Scotland.

Inverurie Academy, Turriff Academy, Cults Academy, Bucksburn Academy, St Machar Academy and St Margaret’s School for Girls all took part.

The judges included STV North News Editor, Donald John Macdonald, and Managing Director of Tern TV, David Strachan, who both gave presentations on how to develop a compelling storyline and get the best out of filming.

Inverurie Academy’s film focuses on #GoSafer and features interviews with Police Scotland and Emma Bellu, chief executive of Absafe and the #GoSafer ambassador for the campaign.

The judges praised the film for its narrative and story-telling, saying:

“It had a very strong start and the five interviewees that followed each had a different angle on how the road would improve safety. The film ended strongly with a shot of the production team with the #GoSafer hashtag. This was a very strong film, well-constructed with good story-telling and a strong narrative,” they reported.

Bucksburn Academy’s film focuses on #GoConnect and includes dashcam footage as well as an interview with a commuter who will benefit from using the AWPR/B-T route and shorter journey times. The judges also highlighted the strong narrative and story-telling:

“This film effectively focussed on the potential benefits the AWPR will generate for commuters. The car sequences were nicely shot and we saw a lot of the actual road. Some strong points were made about how the AWPR will cut down on journey times, and this was the only film to explore the potential benefits beyond the north-east of Scotland.”

Douglas Laird from Transport Scotland said:

“Congratulations to all the pupils who took part in the filming competition and good luck to the teams from Bucksburn Academy and Inverurie Academy who have been shortlisted for the public vote.

“The opening of the AWPR/B-T is an extremely exciting time for the north-east of Scotland and this competition offers a unique opportunity for pupils across the region to get involved in this historic event. The three key themes of #GoConnect, #GoSafer and #GoGreener provided lots of inspiration for the film makers to get creative and explore what the project will mean for the region.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s chair of Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen, said:

“This has been a great opportunity for pupils across the north-east to use their investigative and digital skills to consider how the AWPR/B-T project will change our transport habits in the very near future and in the years to come.

“It’s clear a lot of effort and initiative has gone into these productions and I’m very pleased that Inverurie Academy has been named as a finalist. Good luck to both schools!”

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said:

“It is great the youngsters from across the city and Aberdeenshire have been involved in the movie-making and we’re looking forward to seeing the final winning film – good luck to the two finalists.

“These young people will grow up reaping the benefits of the new AWPR B/T which we have contributed £75 million and it’s fantastic they have been taking part in the project.”

To watch the shortlisted films and vote for your favourite, visit the GoNorthEast website at